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ther to know from the very acts of the Synod, what besides these things had been done in the Synod, and by what method, especially with the Remonstrant pastors : and when it was not doubtful that they themselves, in order to veil their own pertinacity, were about to publish some things concerning these matters, not with the best fidelity, it pleased the illustrious and most mighty the States General, that the acts also of the same Synod, faithfully transcribed from the public registers (tabulis) should be published in print, for the satisfaction (in gratiam) and use of the churches. And, as in these (records) many things every where occur, which pertain to the history of the things transacted in the Belgic churches, and which could less advantageously be understood or judged of by readers who were ignorant of these things; for which cause even the national Synod (as it may be seen in the different sessions,) enjoined especially on the deputies of the South Holland .churches, to write a brief narrative of the affairs transacted with the Remonstrants : it seemed good to prefix, in the place of a preface, from that history some things which were publicly transacted ; that the foreign churches especially might for once know, with good fidelity, what was the rise and progress of these controversies; and on what occasion, and for what causes, the illustrious and most mighty the States General convened this celebrated Synod, at a very great expense ;
1 1 After long and tedious debates, which were frequently at• tended with popular tumults and civil broils, thiş intricate * controversy was, by the counsels and authority of Maurice, prince of Orange, referred to the decision of the church, as
especially as many things are related by the Remonstrants, in writings exhibited, and here inserted, which less accord with the truth of the things transacted.
In the reformed churches of Federated Belgium, how great an agreement had, in the preceding age, flourished, on all the heads of orthodox doctrine, among the pastors and doctors, of the Belgic churches ; and moreover how great order and decorum (tulaţia and šuo xoplocúrn) had always - been preserved in the government of the same, is too well known to the Christian world for it to be needful to set it forth in many words. This peace and harmony of the Belgic churches, lovely (in itself,) and most pleasing to God and all pious men, certain persons had attempted to disturb, with unbridled violence, but not with great success : (persons) who having deserted popery, but not being yet fully purified from its leaven, had passed over into our churches and had been admitted into the ministry in the same, during that first scarcity of ministers : (namely Caspius) Coolhasius, of Leyda, Herman Herbertius, of Dort and Gouda, and Cornelius Wiggerus, of Horn. For in the same places in which they had got some persons, too little favouring the reformed religion, on whose patronage they relied, this their wicked audacity was maturely * sembled in a general Synod at Dordrecht, in the year 1618.' (Mosheim.)— It was not by the authority of prince Maurice, · but by that of the States General, that the national Synod was • assembled at Dordrecht. The States were not indeed unanimous; three of the seven provinces protested against the holding of this Synod, viz. Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel.” (Maclaine.) Mosheim's History, vol. v. p. 367.
repressed, as well by the authority of the supreme magistracy, as by the prudence of the pastors, and the just censures of the church: that of Coolhasius, in the national synod at Middleburgh ; that of Herbertus, in the synods of South Holland ; and that of Wiggerus, in the synods of North Holland.
Afterwards James Arminius, pastor of the most celebrated church at Amsterdam, attempted the same thing, with great boldness and enterprize; a man indeed of a more vigorous genius, (excitatioris,) but whom nothing pleased except that which commended itself by some shew of novelty ; so that he seemed to disdain most things received in the reformed churches, even on that very account that they had been received. He first paved the way for himself to this thing, by publicly and privately lowering, and vehemently attacking (sugillando,) the reputation and authority of the most illustrious doctors of the reformed church, Calvin, Zanchius, Beza, Martyr, and others; that by the ruin of their name he might raise a step to glory for himself. Afterwards he began openly to propose and disseminate various heterodox opinions, nearly related to the errors of the ancient Pelagians, especially in an explanation of the epistle to the Romans: but, by the vigilance and authority of the venerable presbytery of that church, his attempts were speedily opposed, lest he should be able to cause those disturbances in the church which he seemed to project (moliri). Yet he did not cease among his own friends, as well as among the pastors of other churches, John Utenbogardus, Adrian, Borrius, and others, whose friendship the same common studies had conciliated, to propagate his
opinions, by whatever means he could ; and to challenge Francis Junius, the celebrated professor of sacred theology at Leyden, to a conference concerning the same.
But when, in the second year of this age, (Aug. 28. 1602.) that most renowned man D. Junius had been snatched away from the university of Leyden, with the greatest sorrow of the Belgic churches, Utenbogardus, who then favoured the opinion of Arminius, with great earnestness commended hiin to the most noble and ample the curators of the university of Leyden, that he might be appointed in the place of D. Junius in the professorship of sacred theology in that university. When the deputies of the churches understood this, fearing lest the vocation of a man so very much suspected of heterodoxy might sometime give cause of contentions and schisms in the churches; they intreated the most noble lords the curators, that they would not expose the churches to those perils, but rather would think of appointing another
proper person, who was free from this suspicion. And they also admonished Utenbogardus to desist from this recommendation; who despising these admonitions, did not desist from urging his (Arminius's) vocation, until at length he had attained the same.
His vocation having been thus appointed, the presbytery of Amsterdam refused to consent to his dismission (from among them), especially for this reason, because the more prudent thought that a disposition so greatly luxuriant, and prone to innovation, would be statedly employed with more evident danger in an university, at which youth consecrated to the ministry of the churches are educated, and where greater liberty of teaching uses to be taken, than in any particular church in which it may be restrained within bounds by the vigilance and authority of the presbytery. His dismission was notwithstanding obtained by the frequent petitions of the lords the curators, of Uten bogardus, and even of Arminius himself; yet upon this condition, that, a conference having been first held with Dr. Francis Gomarus concerning the principal heads of doctrine, he should remove from himself all suspicion of heterodoxy, by an explicit (rotunda) declaration of his opinion ; when he had first promised, with a solemn attestation, that he would never disseminate his opinions if he had any singular ones. This conference was held before the lords the curators, the deputies of the synod also being present; in which when he (Arminius) professed, that he unreservedly (diserte) condemned the principal dogmas of the Pelagians concerning natural
· The lustre and authority of the college of Geneva began 'gradually to decline, from the time that the United Provinces,
being formed into a free and independent republic, universities * were founded at Leyden, Franeker, and Utrecht.' Mosheim, vol. v. p. 365.
of free will, original sin, the perfection of man in this life, predestination, and the others; that he approved all things that Augustine and the other
How far he fulfilled this solemn promise and attestation, not only the following history, but even the histories of his most decided advocates fully shew. In fact, he fulfilled it in the very same manner that the subscriptions and most solemn engagements of numbers in our church at their ordination are fulfilled.