Imatges de pàgina

tranquillity of the church, and to the confirmation of true doctrine.-I am “ The most observant regarder of your Reputation,

“ HUGH DE GROOT." But the very same adversaries, with whom he had often before had contests, following the footsteps of Gomarus, traduced Arminius as “a man of well-practised genius; but one to whom nothing was pleasing, unless it presented itself under some semblance of novelty ; so that he seemed to nauseate most of the doctrines which were received in the Churches, even on this very account–because they were received."*_There were besides among the foreign divines those who, through a certain blind prejudice, and by attributing more than was just to the clamours of certain zealots, called him “the enemy of God," and “a man of a crafty disposition, who had done every thing in an artful manner, and, in imitation of Ham, had disclosed the shame of his fathers, and who in a scandalous manner had pierced the very body of the Reformed Church through the sides of the most holy chiefs of the Reformation.”—John Hornbeck writes, that “ Arminius confided too much in his own speculations,” and that “he was detected in his eager desires to dissolve other things:" Then adopting the words of Tacitus as his own, he calls Arminius, “ a violator of treaties, who broke the promise which he had made to God and the Church ; and who, with nefarious daring, at first secretly and afterwards openly, both by himself and by his pupils and associates, began to disturb and pervert the faith of the Churches and the doctrine of Christ, and not the Church only, but likewise the State: And he would have accomplished his design, had not God granted Divine succour when affairs were in this dangerous situation."

On the other part, as Arminius had amply refuted these charges, and many others of the same kind; so the vindication of his blessed memory was undertaken by Bertius, Uitenbogaert, Episcopius, Corvinus, Narsius, Courcelles, Poelenburgh, and others, whom on that account their adversaries began to designate by the name of ARMINIANS. But let us, in the first place, listen to Arnold Poelenburgh, a most worthy vindicator of the Remonstrants, who advocated the cause of Arminius against the accusations of Hornbeck. In reply to the passage just cited, t he says, “ Behold how fervid is Hornbeck with a passion for calumny! For, what good purpose did it answer, to traduce

• Historical Preface to the Acts of the Synod of Dort. + See Poelenburgh's Letter to Hornbeck, in which the eighth book of Hornbeck's Summary of the Controversies is refuted. Amsterdam, 1655.

Arminius of pious memory as one who confided in his own specue lations ?, when he professed to regard the Sacred Scriptures, as the sole rule of his faith, and far excelled his adversaries both in the number and weight of the scriptural testimonies which he adduced.—What object could be gained by asserting, that Arminius was detected in his eager desires to dissolve other things ?, who had no higher wish, than to see the Church restored to its primitive purity and tranquillity.-But, on reading those words in which Hornbeck calls Arminius, who was one of the best of men, a violator of treaties, I was indeed filled with horror; nor can I adequately imagine whence a man who is writing falsehoods, and defending an unjust cause, has obtained such consummate and unusual audacity! For is that man to be styled a violator of treaties, who defends with all his powers the covenant which God has made with the whole human race ? There is now, therefore, no reason why Hornbeck may not call almost all the Ancient Fathers violators of treaties, because they either were ignorant of Absolute Predestination, or were its opposers. -But I seem at length to have discovered to what all this refers that Arminius did not subscribe to the Dutch Confession and Catechism. But, it has already been stated, that many traces of our sentiments were extant in those writings. * Arminius never so bound his Faith within any human productions, as to suppose that they were not at all times to be examined in the balances of the Sacred Records. Why does he not style Luther, Musculus, and several more, truce-breakers, because, when they were bound by oath to the Papacy, they could not with a good conscience remain in Popery ? For as the Papists did both now and in former times, so do the moderns among the Reformed,—they unhappily defend certain of their own most grievous errors by the assistance of the Sacred Writings badly understood; although we confess, that they do not defend them in a method entirely similar. That therefore which was lawful to multitudes of others before his time, was likewise lawful to Arminius.—But I form this persuasion within my own mind, that it was not merely lawful for this eminent man who was adorned with excellent endowments, but that it was likewise incumbent on his office, to resist with all his might those widelyspreading errors which were then generally considered as necessary truths.”

But without urging the testimonies of Remonstrants, we may understand the high estimation in which the most honourable the Curators of the University continued to hold the name of

* See Pages 643, 665.

ARMINIUS, (hateful though it sounded in the ears of several persons,) from the special patronage which they afforded to Elizabeth Real, the widow of this divine, and to her orphan children, and by the grant to them of an annual honorary stipend: The very respectable Senate of the University did not hesitate to bear the subjoined testimony to the deceased, at the request of his family. *

Among the nobles and chief men in his native country, those who were most attached to him were, those honourable Senators and Burgomasters, Nicholas Kromhout, Adrian Junius, Sebas

* « The Rector Magnificus and the Senate of the University of Leyden in Holland, to

all and singular who shall read these Testimonials or shall hear them read, send greeting

“ Since it has seemed good to Almighty God to recal to the heavenly country that famous and reverend man, JAMES ARMINIUS, Doctor of Divinity, and Professor in Ordinary of the same Faculty in this our University, from the professorship which he administered, for no small number of years which he passed here, with singular industry and to applauding auditories, and since He has granted him an. eterna) release and discharge from the unceasing labours which he has sustained both in the Church and in the University, and since the widow of the deceased of most blessed memory, with the children whom she bore to him, now survives her husband, and has requested from the Senate that such Testimonials as are due to his distinguished virtues may be presented to her, and since the demand for such testimonials seemed to us, to be only an act of justice on account of (non paucas the numerous endowments of the man, we have willingly contributed to his most desired memory the last office which we can perform for him.-We therefore testify that the before-mentioned JAMES ARMINIUS, D, D., lived in this our University, so as to teach with the utmost care and diligence Sacred Theology, both in public and at his own house - for we leave to other people (the mention of] controversies. But, as it was the first duty of a prudent and discreet man, hedefended by his prudence, advice, and authority, in the Senate of the University, not only his own station and dignity, but likewise that of the whole honourable order; and he preferred the public business, which was to be unanimously discussed in our sittings, to his own private affairs : He freely proposed whatever be thought would conduce to the advantage of the University; and proved that he was averse to such things as might have a contrary effect. He brought down no stain or blot, by his life or manners, on his most holy profession ; but, as it became a man of probity, he lived in a manner agreeable to his vocation and office, In accordance with the duty of a diligent teacher and divine, he instructed the young men who were committed to his care, with assiduity and industry. We therefore beseech all and every one so to speak and to think of this same man, JAMES ARMINIUS, D. D., of blessed memory, as his erudition, the services which he has performed in this our University, and his excellence, deserve. We have taken care to confirm and corroborate the credit of those testimonials by the hand of our Secretary, and likewise by our Seal.

“ This has been compared with the original, and copied out by the command of the Rector Magnificus and of the Senate of the University by me

“DANIEL HEINSIUS." With regard to the clause, in the middle of this document, about the omission of controversics, Brandt says, it is the same expression which was employed in similar Testimonials that were delivered to Gomarus, by the Academic Senate, when he departed to Middelburg,

tian Egberts, Rumold Hogerbeets; and William Bardesius, Lord of Warmhusen, who did not hold the lowest place among his patrons: For he manifested towards Arminius a constancy of affection; and when he was debilitated by a slow and continued disease, as soon as the disorder, the temperature of the weather, and the intervals between each attack, would permit, Bardesius entertained him in a most friendly manner at his country-house. When Arminius died, he confirmed the same benevolence towards his widow and afflicted family, of which he gave repeated and substantial proofs.

Beside John Uitenbogaert, who has been often mentioned in this History, whom Arminius was accustomed to call his sacred anchor, and to whom he could at all times resort for the purpose of obtaining advice and succour, the other friends with whom he was chiefly on terms of intimacy, were the famous John Drusius, Conrad Vorstius,* Anthony Thysius, John Halsbergius, Peter Bertius, Adrian de Borre, John Arnold Corvinus, and Rembert and Simon Episcopius, two youths whom he loved in the place of a brother and a son,--the former of them a merchant at Amsterdam, of a chaste and cultivated judgment and of eminent piety,—the latter, one of his principal pupils, who, on account of the signal endowments of mind and genius which Divine Providence had bestowed on him, was afterwards accounted worthy to adorn the province which had been occupied by his beloved preceptor.t

"See Page 580. + Few men in Europe have contributed more essentially by their writings to the true interests of mankind, than Simon EPISCOPIUS. In the animadversions which are passed upon his productions, a distinction ought always to be made between what he wrote in the name and as the accredited organ of the Remonstrant body, in which he was gener ally guided by the counsel of a few select members, and what he wrote in his private capacity as a divine. By not duly observing this distinction, many per. sons have blamed him personally for a tone and spirit, which, they aver, are incon. sistent with Christianity; when it ought to have been recollected, that many smart sayings and keen replies, which a private divine might have hesitated to employ, are not merely tolerated, but even applauded, by the body that feels itself injured and maligned, especially when every defence of that body is subjected to the revision and amendments of aspirited deputation : This was actually the case with all that Episcopius wrote for the Remonstrants, and ought to remove much of that load of odium which many partizans of very different religious views, and with opposite in. tentions, have heaped upon his memory. I hope, I have observed this necessary distinction in the few instances in which I have had occasion to visit him with ani. madversions.

As a proof of the high estimation in which the productions of Episcopius were held by some of the small number of liberal Popish ecclesiastics, I subjoin the fol. lowing extract from Father Mabillon's Treatise on the Studies which are proper for such as live in Monasteries : “ I cannot forbear observing in this place, that if some passages had been left out in Episcopius's Theological Institutes, which Grotius

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“ These things," adds the younger Brandt, “ are what I considered necessary to be said about JAMES ARMINIUS, whose piety and simple virtue never sought to obtain any reputation in the earth, not even that a sect should be called after his name! A sect was undoubtedly called after him ; but this was subsequent to his death, and after all things were in a disturbed state, Christianity having then suffered another lamentable division, which, according to the present aspect of affairs, no future day seems likely to heal, unless God immediately interpose for the welfare of his Church."

esteemed so much that he carried them with him wherever he went, they might be very useful in the study of Divinity. This work is divided into Four Books, the method of which is quite different from that which is generally followed. His style is beautiful, and his manner of treating his subject answers his style perfectly well : Nor would the time spent in reading it be lost, provided it had been corrected with regard to some passages, in which the author speaks against the Roman Catholics, and in favour of his sect," -For this free opinion Mabillon was reviled by a Jansenist pamphleteer, to whom the Arminianism(of Episcopius could not be very acceptable, and who says, “As soon as Monsieur Nicole heard of this fine encomium, he strongly desired that the author should be advised to suppress it: But this was impossible, for the book was published. Several young Abbots had already requested some book. sellers to send them Episcopius's Works, the perusal of which was so much recommended by Father Mabillon. It is a great happiness, that the booksellers have not one copy of them: For no divine opposes the doctrine of St. Augustine, and indeed that of the whole Church, so much as Episcopius does, who has even introduced into his sect the toleration of all religions ! Father Mabillon would be more excusable, had he not read Episcopius's book : But he owns himself, that he had borrowed it from the Archbishop of Rheims's librarian, and kept it above two months !”_"Judge by this,” says Bayle, “how scarce Episcopius's Works are in France, since the Benedictines are obliged to borrow them from a Prelate, who collected with a great deal of care those books which it is most difficult to procure !”

The name of EPISCOPIus is in Dutch“ BISCHOP.” In allusion to this acceptation of the word, the same as our English word Bishop, his distant relative Philip Limborch wrote some beautiful elegiac verses, which have often been engraved under his noble portrait. They commence thus,

Dits Bisschop, die getrow syns Heeren weydden, fc.

Of which the following is a hasty translation from

the pen of a learned friend :

A BISHOP, faithful to his heavenly Lord,
An eager listener to his sacred word;
Who truth from falsehood, right from wrong could sever,
In man's free spirit bound in bondage never :
A hero, arm'd for right and liberty,
And suffering exile, but not slavery.



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