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SYNOD OF DORT:
THE HISTORY OF EVENTS WHICH LED TO ITS
ITS ARTICLES, AND REJECTION OF ERRORS: ITS DECISION CONCERNING THE REMONSTRANTS :
THE APPROBATION OF THE STATES GENERAL :
AS PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY.
TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN,
NOTES, REMARKS, AND REFERENCES.
“ BE THAT IS FIRST IN HIS OWN CAUSE SEEMETE JUST; BUT HIS NEIGHBOUR
COMETH AND SEARCHETH HIM."--PROV, xviii. 17.
AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM.
In this, as in the preceding work, I have ventured upon some alteration, and I hope improvement, of the Title. I have also endeavoured more correctly to mark the several parts into which the work naturally divides itself, and more clearly to distinguish what belongs to the Translator and what to his Original.
It may be proper to observe that the work, from which the translation is made, is the Acta Synodi Nationalis, in Nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi, Auctoritate D. D. Ordinum Generalium Fæderati Belgii Provinciarum, Dordrechti, habitæ Anno 1618, 1619.' Dordrechti, 1620. 4to. Editions, it would also seem were printed in the same year at Dort and Leyden, in folio, and at Hanover, in 4to.-J. S.
SYNOD OF DORT.
The manner in which the author was brought to the determination, of adding the present work to all his former publications, will appear more fully in the introduction to the articles of the Synod of Dort. In general, he had erroneously adopted, and had aided in circulating, a gross misrepresentation of the Synod and its decisions, in his - Remarks on the Refutation of Calvinism; and, having discovered his mistake previously to the publication of a second edition of that work, he was induced to do what he could to counteract that misrepresentation, and to vindicate the Synod from the atrocious calumnies with, which it has been wilfully or inadvertently traduced. But other motives concurred in disposing him to give his attempt its present form and order.
1. A very interesting and important part of ecclesiastical history has been obscured and overwhelmed with unmerited disgrace, by the misrepresentations given of this Synod and its articles, especially in this nation; in which very few, even among studious men, know accurately the circumstances which led to the convening of this Synod, and the real nature and import of its decisions. To excite therefore others, more conversant in these studies, and better qualified for the service, to examine this part of ecclesiastical history, and to do impartial justice to it, is one object which the author has in view.
2. He purposes to prove, that the doctrines commonly termed Calvinistic, whether they be or be not the doctrines of scriptural Christianity, may yet be so stated and explained, without any skilful or laboured efforts, as to coincide with the strictest practical views of our holy religion ; and so as greatly to encourage and promote genuine holiness, considered in its most expanded nature, and in its effects on all our tempers, affections, words, and actions, in relation to God and to all mankind.
3. In a day when these doctrines are not only proscribed in a most hostile manner on one side, 'but deplorably misunderstood and perverted by many on the other side; the author desired to add one more testimony against these misapprehensions and perversions, by shewing in what a holy, guarded, and reverential manner the divines of this reprobated Synod stated and explained these doctrines ; compared with the superficial, incautious, and often unholy and presumptuous manner of too many in the present day. And, if any individual, or a few individuals, should by this publication be induced to employ superior talents and advantages in counteracting these unscriptural and pernicious statements, his labour will be amply compensated.