« EdellinenJatka »
'convenient phrases was refused, at least omitted, 'for the time.'1
'Certainly, while some followed the more rigid way, casting the perdition of the most on the absolute power and will of God, without any ' regard of sin; others, the flatterers (parasiti) of human liberty, so made men masters of them'selves, as if they were subjected to no decrees at 'all. Faults are sufficiently committed on both 'sides truth, holding the middle way, is desert
ed; which yet is regarded by certain men of 'moderate dispositions. For how often did those 'most celebrated doctors (of the Synod of Dort) roundly assert, that God damned no man, nor 'destined him to damnation, except on the con'sideration of sin? as our British divines. But it is manifest, that the brethren of Hesse openly proved this by many arguments. And there were none of the divines who more accurately ' and expressly taught this than yours of Brema. Nor does the voice of the Synod disagree with 'this; which, defining reprobation itself, saith'that those are passed by, whom by a most free ' and just, and irreproveable, and immutable good pleasure, are passed by, and left in the common 'misery, in which their own fault had precipitated them. We recognize (or quote) the words of 'the Synod: and then what man in his senses can deny, that the decree of eternal punishment, 'is on account of their unbelief and other sins ?'2
For, indeed, that there was a certain reproba' tion, and that from eternity, who doubts? But 'this reprobation (as far as it respects the act of 'Epistola ad Crocium. Epistola D. Baltasar. Tullio.
'the omnipotent God,) was of certain men, whom "God decreed to leave in the common misery, ' into which their own fault had plunged them: and this, not only for their unbelief, but for all 'their other sins, and to condemn them for a 'declaration of his justice, and to punish them eternally so that their fault and sins here so 'intervene to effect it, that positive reprobation, ' without these, cannot without the highest injus'tice be ascribed to God.'1
These quotations throw light on the history of the Synod, and shew that the sentiments falsely imputed to that assembly, were merely those of certain individuals, and not the determination of the body at large.
CONTAINING THE DECISION OF THE SYNOD CONCERNING THE REMONSTRANTS, AND THE APPROBATION OF THE STATES GENERAL, WITH REMARKS.
The Decision (or Sentence) of the Synod concerning the Remonstrants.
THE truth having been, by the grace of God, thus far explained and asserted, errors rejected and condemned, and iniquitous calumnies refuted; this Synod of Dort, (according to the duty which is further incumbent upon it,) seriously, earnestly, and by the authority which, according to the word of God, it possesses over all the members of its churches, in the name of Christ beseeches, exhorts, admonishes, and enjoins all and every one of the pastors of the churches in confederated Belgium; the doctors, rectors, and masters of the academies and schools; and indeed all universally, to whom either the care of souls or the discipline of youth is committed, that, casting away the five known articles of the Remonstrants, which are erroneous, and mere hiding places of errors, they preserve this wholesome doctrine of saving truth drawn from the most pure fountain of the divine word, sincere and inviolate according to their ability and office, propound and explain it faithfully to the people and to youth; and diligently declare its most sweet and beneficial use in life,
as well as in death: that they instruct those of different sentiments, such as wander from the flock, and are led away by the novelty of opinions, meekly by the evidence of the truth, "if perad"venture God will give them repentance to the " acknowledgment of the truth;" that, restored to a sound mind, they may with one spirit, one mouth, one faith and charity, return to the church of God and the communion of the saints and that at length the wound of the church may be closed, and all her members be of one heart and mind in the Lord.
But moreover, because some persons having gone out from among us,. under the title of Remonstrants, (which name of Remonstrants, as also of Contra-Remonstrants, the Synod thinks should be blotted out by a perpetual oblivion :) and the discipline and order of the church having been violated by their private endeavours and counsels, in unlawful ways; and the admonitions and judgments of their brethren having been despised; they have very grievously and dangerously disturbed the Belgic churches, before most flourishing, and most united in faith and love, in these heads of doctrine; have recalled ancient and pernicious errors, and framed new ones; and publicly and privately, both by word and by writings, have scattered them among the common people, and most vehemently contended for them; have made neither measure nor end of inveighing against the doctrine hitherto received in the churches, by enormous calumnies and reproaches; have filled all things every. where with scandals, dissensions, scruples of conscience, and inventions (excogitationibus); which offences, cer
tainly very heinous, against faith, against love, and good morals, and the unity and peace of the churches, as they could not justly be endured in any man, ought necessarily to be animadverted on in pastors, with that most severe censure, which hath in every age (ab omni avo) been adopted by the church the Synod, having invoked the holy name of God, and honestly conscious of its authority from the word of God; treading in the footsteps as well of ancient as of recent synods, and fortified by the authority of the most illustrious the States General, declares and judges, that those pastors, who have yielded themselves leaders of parties in the church, and teachers of errors, be held guilty and convicted of corrupting religion, of rending the unity of the church, and of most grievous scandals; and moreover, having been summoned before this Synod, of intolerable obstinacy against the decrees of the supreme magistracy made known by this Synod, and also against the venerable Synod itself.
For which causes, in the first place the Synod interdicts the before cited persons from every ecclesiastical service, and deprives them of their offices, and judges them also to be unworthy of academical functions, until by earnest repentance, abundantly proved by words and deeds, and by contrary exertions, they satisfy the church, and be truly and fully reconciled with the same, and received to her communion; which for their own good, and for the joy of the whole church, we specially (unice) desire in Christ our Lord. But the rest, of whom the knowledge hath not come to this national Synod, the Synod commits to the . Provincials, the Classes, and the Presbyteries,