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be constrained by others, nor constrain any one himself; being taught neither to follov., nor to form . party, That golden saying, pleased him much; " Unanimity, in things necessary; liberty in things not necessary, and in all things, prydence and charity" which he professed was his common creed. Nor can we have the least doubt of his zeal for the faith once delivered to the saints, and for trye piety towards God, which he expressed in his writings, when at Leovaarden and Franequer, against some dangerous opinions, then starting up, both in divinity and philosophy, of which also he gave a proof at Utrecht and Leyden, when publicly testifying in writing, that he could not bear the authority of reason to be so extolled above scripture, as that this last should be entirely subject to its command, or be overturned by ludicrous interpretations. His zeal, in his latter days, was greatly inflamed, when he observed all ecclesiastical diseipling against those, who would overthrow the Christian faith, and even right reason itself, publicly trampled upon under the most idle pretences, and every thing almost given up to a de praved reason, to the subverting the foundations of Christi. anity; while some indeed, mourned in secret, but were forced to be silent, and therefore he declared his joy at his approaching dissolution, on account of the evils he foresaw were hanging over the church ; and often called on those who should survive, to' tremble when the adversary was triumphing over the doctrines of salvation, and all true piety, to the destruction both of church and state ; and that by, men, whom it least became, and who still artfully dissembled a regard for religion, and for ecclesiastical and civil constitutions; unless God, in his wonderful providence, averted the calamity, and more powerfully stirred up the zeal of our superiors against Atheism, Pelagianism, and the seeds of both. I do not speak of those smaller differences, observable for some time pasta in the method of ranging theological matters, in some modes of expression. All are well apprized with what equity and maderation Witsius ever treated those differences in opinion, and if ever any was inclined to unanimity and concord with real brethren, he was the man who never did any thing to interrupt it, but every thing either to establish or restore it, and to remove all seeds of dissension. This is what that genuine Christianity, he had imbibed, prompted him to ; and what the singular meekness of his temper inspired; by which he was ready to give way to the rashly angry, and either made no answer to injurious railers, or repaid them even with those ample encomiums, which, in other respects, they
might deserve. Thus lived our venerable Witsius, giving uneasiness to none, but the greatest pleasure to all, with whom he had any connection, and was not easily exceeded by any in officer of humanity and brotherly love. There was at the same time in him a certain wonderful conjunction of rehigious and civil prudence, consummated and confirmed by long experience, with an unfeigned candour. • Neither was any equal to him for diligence in the duties of his office, being always most ready to do every thing, by which he could be serviceable to the flocks and pupils under his care, for the benefit of the church. He did not withdraw from them in old age itself, nor during his indisposition indulge himself too much. His modesty was quite singular, by which he not only always behaved with that deep concern in treating the holy scriptures and its mysteries ; but also, by which he scarce ever pleased himself in the things he most happily wrote and said : and when his best friends justly commended his performances, he even suspected their sincerity. Nor could any under adversities, be more content with his lot, even publicly declaring at Utrecht, that he would not exchange his place in the university and church, either with the royal or imperial dignity. And to omit other virtues, or rather in the compass of one to comprize all; he was not in appearance, but in reality, a true divine, ever discovering bis heavenly wisdom by a sincere piety towards God and, his Sam viour. For, he was constant in the public acts of worship, unwearied in the domestic exercises of piety, giving, in this, an example for the imitation of others in the fear of the Lord, incessantly taken up in heavenly meditation, and continued instant in prayer, both stated and ejaculatory; and shone in them, when under the dictates and impulses of the holy Spirit: In fine, his chief care was, by avoiding evil and doing good, to demean himself both towards God and man, as became one who had obtained redemption through Christ, and, by divine grace, the hope of a blessed eternity in heaven ; which he con
а stantly pånted after, with the utmost contempt for the things in the world.
His writings are numerous, learned, and useful: In 1660, almost at his entrance on the ministry, he published his Jr dæus Christianizans, on the principles of faith, and on the Holy Trinity. When at Wormer, he put out in Low Dutch, 1665, The Practice of Christianity, with the spiritual characters of the unregenerate, with respect to what is commendable in them; and of the regenerate, as to what is blameable and wants correction. At Leovaarden, he gave also in Low Dutchy
The Lord's Controversy with his Vincyard, and at the same time, briskly defended it against opponents of his Franequer labours, we have, besides smaller works, afterwards comprised in larger volumes, his Oeconomia federum Dei cum hominibus, translated into Low Dutch, by Harlingius; and his Exerci tationes sacræ in Symbolum Apostolorum, translated also into Low Dutch, by Costerus. At Utrecht, came out his Erer. citationes Sacræ in orationem, do ninicanr; } his Egyptiaca and Decaphylon, with a dissertation on the Legio fulminatrix Christianorum, and the first volume of his Miscellania Sacra, and a good deal of the second ; besides some smaller 'works also. And at Leyden, he published, at last, the second volume of his Miscellania Sacra, complete: and at this last place he set on foot what he calls his Meletemeta Leidensia, to be occasionally enlarged with a number of select dissertations. Indeed, all these writings are justly in great repute, their style being polite, the subjects useful, and the whole replenished with various branches of learning, and a beautiful strain of piety, all which may deservedly commend them to the latest posterity.
He had been often, formerly, afflicted with racking and painful diseases ; whence sometimes arose the great apprehension of a far earlier departure by death. And nothing, under divine providence, but his vigour of mind, joined to his piety, could have preserved bim so long to the world; and that with so perfect an. use of bis senses, that not long before his death, he could read, without hesitation, the smallest Greek characters by moon-light, which none besides himself could do. But with his advanced years, he sometimes had cruel fits of the gout, and stone in the kidneys; and once in the chair, in the midst of a lecture, a slight touch of an apoplexy. These disorders were, indeed, mitigated by the skill of the famous doctor Frederic Deckers; but now and then, by slight attacks, threatened a return: for his wavering and languishing state of health, indicating the past disorders not to be entirely extirpated, gave apprehensions of a future fatal disiemper ; which was occasioned by the sudden attack of a fever on the evening of the 18th of October. This fever, though very soon removed, left his body exceeding weak, and his mind in a state of lethargy, an indication that his head was affected. The good man himself, considering these symptoms, with great constancy and calmness of mind, told the physician, and his other friends then present, that they could not fail to prove mortal. Nor did the slightness of the disease make any change in his opinion as to its fatal issue; while he foresaw that the
obalnequences of an 'advanced age, and of che greatest weakness, could admit of no other event Ner indeed without cause : for bis semes were gradually weakened by repeated slumbers; however, about his last betr, he sensibly signified to Doctor Mark, who attended bim, his blessed hope, and his hegvenly desires, as he had frequently done before, and then about noon, on the 22d of October 1708, he sweetly departed this life, in the 18d year of his age, and entered into the joy of his Lorda
Of the Divine Covenants in general. 1. WHOEVER attempts to discourse on the subject and design of the Divine Covenants, by which eternal salvation is adjudged to man, on certain conditions equally worthy of God and the rational creature, ought, above all things, to have a sacred and inviolable regard to the heavenly oracles, and neither through prejudice nor passion, intermix any thing, which he is not firmly persuaded is contained in the records which hold forth these covenants to the world. For, if Zaleucus made it a condition to be observed by the contentious interpreters of his laws, That “ each party should explain the meaning of the lawgiver, in the assembly of the thousand, with halters about their necks: and that what party soever
should appear to wrest the sense of the law, should, in the presence of the thousand, end their lives by the halter they wore :" as Polybius, a very grave“ author, relates in his history, Book xii. c. 7. And if the Jews and Samaritans in Egypt, each disputing about their temple, were admitted to plead before the king and his courtiers on this condition only, That “the advocates of either party, foiled in the dispute, should be punished with death, according to Josephus, in