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ARMINIUS:

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

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CHAPTER V.—HE IS CALLED TO THE DIVINITY PROFESSORSHIP AT LEYDEN. The first few years of strife at zeal and scarcely sufferable veheAmsterdam were succeeded by ten mence of not a few till God see fit long years of peace. The change to rid me of their annoyance or to was in every way agreeable to Ar impart to them a spirit of discretion minius. He was not indisposed to and prudence to temper and moderate defend truth and refute error when their zeal.' 'I cannot sufficiently by occasion or necessity the duty wonder,' says he, in a letter written was laid upon him. But he loved somewhat earlier, to the the quiet hours of thought far more friend, ‘at the overweening boldness than the stormy seasons of contro. of some who without taking pains versy. His mind was reflective to acquaint themselves with controrather than dogmatical ; his taste versies brand with the mark of that of the scholar and critic rather heresy whatever is not agreeable to than of the polemic and partisan. their palate. Truth, even theo. Hewas more inclined to discriminate logical truth, so far as it concerns than to declaim, to balance with the full knowledge of disputed candour the arguments of opposing points has been sunk in a deep well, teachers than to rush with eager whence it cannot be drawn without haste into the arena of public debate. much effort. o that the God of Suffered to continue his researches truth may grant me to find it, that at pleasure, he communed devoutly my mind may be set at rest. with the Oracles of Truth, gave Then indeed shall I exceedingly provocation to no one, and jealously rejoice as one who has discovered a guarded the peace of the church. precious treasure; while to all those His ten years of comparative repose who have contributed any measure were pleasantly and profitably spent, of assistance I shall acknowledge They were perhaps the best and myself bound by many and deep happiest years of his life. Enjoying obligations.' the affection of his people, the re- The opinions of distinguished spect of the city and its authorities, men of his day Arminius estimated he could treat with indifference the at a high value. He sought to ever - meddlesome zeal of bigotry make them useful in shaping or and faction. He was wholly devoted modifying his own. From several to study and pastoral toil. The din sources during this period he obof theological disputation no longer tained assistance in his investigadistracted him. His powers were tions. Gellius Snecan, a learned maturing by exercise and experi. minister of Friesland, had published ence; his strength and confidence an introduction to the Ninth were daily growing more firm and Romaus. Arminius was pleased to established. He was pursuing fresh discover that it propounded subinquiries and hiving fresh wisdom stantially the same view that he had from year to year.

recently advocated from his own 'I am exerting myself to the ut. pulpit åt Amsterdam. He thanked most,' he writes to his friend Uiten- the author, by letter, for his work, bogardt, 'in teaching the truth and transmitted for his inspection already known to me, and in search- his own analysis of the chapter. ing out what is not; yea, also, in To Martin Lydius, of Franeker, to more thoroughly investigating the Taffin, of the Walloon Church, and truth which I do know, and in to Kuchlin, his colleague at Amsterestablishing and confirming it on dam, he made known his doubts, solid grounds. But these things I and at their recommendation con. do in silence and in hope ; putting sulted personally on the subject with up meanwhile with the preposterous Francis Junius, of Leyden, a man of exquisite judgment, of moderate nocence, furnished of God with opinions, of great erudition, whose natural gifts, and invited to superservice to the Reformation in the natural good; or, in other words, Netherlands had been considerable. man in common without regard to Arminius had taken into his con- sin.* Against this view Arminius fidence his college friend Uitenbog. with his usual acumen presses ardt, and to him he communicates several objections. He considers everything respecting the progress that the image of God in man was of his inquiries. He tells him of never natural but always superthe interview he had had with natural (that is spiritual), having Junius, and declares that he had respect to supernatural (that is been as much charmed with some spiritual) life. He asserts that the of his observations as if he had predestination to salvation of man discovered an immense treasure, in such a state seems to him to and that in comparison with a involve the necessity of the fall, to knowledge sure and satisfactory to make sin part of God's will, to be his own mind on questions which inconsistent with Scripture, while it had perplexed him with doubt for does not accord with other views to seven years, he set a trivial value which Junius signifies his assent. on all the wealth of Cresus and He dwells upon election as flowing Midas, and all the treasures of the from grace, and reprobation from world. An interesting correspond justice, and both contemplating man ence was opened between Arminius as a sinner, and not as pure and and the learned Professor, which innocent. He also speaks of the Arminius for some reason or other mediation of Christ, of adoption in broke off. A pledge of secrecy had Christ, as assuming both the sin and been exchanged, but Junius did not faith of man. The correspondence strictly keep it. Copies of some of was renewed by Arminius after a the letters got into circulation. long silence, but Junius thinking Amongst others the redoubtable probably that a further discussion Peter Planc saw or heard of them. would not be useful, or it may be, As the last letter of Junius was un- some suggest, finding himself answered, Peter Plano, with his too closely pressed, never replied to usual officiousness and impertinence this fresh summons. tells Arminius that at length his

But Arminius meanwhile was not mouth is effectually stopped. The idle. At this interval he met with taunt was the very reverse of truth. a treatise of Dr. Perkins, of Cam. There was nothing polemical in the bridge, on the mode and order of correspondence. Throughout it was Predestination and the extent of of the most friendly character. The Divine Grace.' He was gratified spirit in which it was conducted with the opportunity of acquainting was on both sides that of modest himself with the opinions of an and reverent inquiry after truth, English divine on the subject, and and the difference of opinion between he gave the work of Dr. Perkins & Junius and Arminius was scarcely careful perusal, preparing as he greater than the difference between went on an elaborate criticism. He Junius and Peter Planc. The chief was about to transmit this criticism to matter of discussion was predestina- the author when he heard of his death. tion.

The position taken by the At this time also he compiled a syn. Professor was a middle one between opsis of theological common-places supralapsarianism and sublapsarian. | in which the result of his researches ism. He maintained that the sub- was reduced to systematic form. ject of divine predestination was not man as yet uncreated and un- *Homines in puris naturalibus consideratos fallen, nor man created and fallen, ut ex natura supra naturam evehendos. but man created and unfallen, cominuniter, citra rationem peccati ut causa.

Hominem a Deo consideratum fuisse man in a state of natural in.

Amica Collatio cuin F. Junio.

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Heroic Conduct of Arminius during the Plague.

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Moreover, he was rising to eminence | things, solemn awe of God seized and influence in the Dutch Church, upon the people, and unusual im. and his position imposed upon him pressibility to Divine truth was new duties. The revision of the everywhere manifested. Some fed Dutch translation of the Scriptures from the scene of danger. Arminius had been determined upon. He remained at his post, fortified took an active part, though without against fear. He committed himmuch success, in directing the selec- self and his family into the bands tion of judicious scholars for the of God, and continued to discharge work. He was appointed President the duties of his office with ex. of the Annual Synod of the Church emplary diligence and fidelity. His of South Holland. English Inde- attention now called more pendents were flocking to Amster- especially to the practical part of dam, and with singular bad taste the work of the ministry. Ho repaid the hospitality they enjoyed warned the ungodly. He comforted by violent attacks upon the Dutch the faithful. He interceded for Church. Arminius was drawn into the City in fervent prayer, a3 discussion with them. Anabaptists, Abraham interceded for Sodom. also, flourished in the Netherlands, He went froms house to house and made considerable stir among dispensing, truth and consolation the people. Persecution of them to the sick and the dying, somehad ceased. The last Anabaptist times venturing with characteristic martyr in the Low Countries, a intrepidity into the midst of infection woman, had been buried alive three and disease to give refreshment to years before at Brussels. But the the body as well as the soul. He doctrine was not buried, and still was especially useful, as his letters spread. Arminius was asked to show, in affording comfort and peace refute in a single treatise all the to some whose minds were troubled errors of this growing sect. When with perplexity and doubt as to the the first year of the seventeenth nature of justifying faith, and the century, opened, he was engaged evidence of acceptance with God. upon his new task.

But it was While Arminius was thus making never completed. Arminius could full proof of his ministry in the not curse Anabaptists so roundly as midst of peril and death, Providence Calvin had done. They beld views was preparing for him new anxieties upon predestination and free-will and new honours. The pestilence which Arminius could not denounce. which visited Amsterdam desolated They maintained, as he did, principles other cities. At Leyden two Proof the widest toleration. Some of fessors fell victims to it, one of them might be guilty of abominable them the recent correspondent of Ar. excesses, but others were devout minius. When men like Junius were and godly men.

Arminius saw, as taken away, it was not very easy to he advanced, that the work was not see who could supply the vacancy. assigned to bim in good faith. He In a letter to Uitenbogardt, Arcould not prosecute it with pleasure, minius himself speaks of his own and when more urgent business oc- perplexity in the matter. He deeply cupied his attention he abandoned it deplored the death of his able and altogether. With this his long scholarly friend as a personal loss, years of peace closed, and new and and desiring the prosperity of the interminable contentions began. new seat of learning he was anxious

In 1602 the plague visited Amster about a successor. Wherever be dam. Its ravages were terrible, looked, there seemed scarcely any not only in that city but throughout hope. France could scarcely furnish Holland. Apparent nearness to among the Reformed Churches a death had a great influence upon the single divine of sufficient learning minds of thousands. Deep convic. and genius. Germany had but few, tion of the reality of spiritual | and these were already advanced

beyond the active period of life. | day? I will not bear it ; I will not Upon one of them only could Ar: suffer it; I will rather shut up my minius fix as, in his opinion, qualified College.' Gomar, another Professor, to undertake the office of Professor. followed in a similar strain. In This was John Piscator, of Herborn, presenting to the Curators a funeral in Nassau. The Curators of the oration of his in honour of Junius, University, however, with whom and in reporting how in the last the appointment of Professors hour of his life that great man com. rested, did not look abroad. They mended the college and its theo. hoped to fill one at least of the logical professorships to their special Academic chairs without drawing care, be took occasion to say that he upon other lands. Their eyes were believed that Arminius held most turned to Amsterdam, to their own heterodox opinions, that Junius had distinguished scholar, Arminius. serious disputes with him and Nothing could be more likely to entertained no favourable opinion of secure universal approval than the him, that his call to the Divinity selection of a Dutch divine for the professorship would inflict grievous Professorship of a Dutch University. | injury upon the University and The Curators were unanimous in upon the Protestant religion, that their proposal. The students warmly at Amsterdam he could infect with applauded the choice, and even heresy one church only, but at petitioned in its favour. The cele- Leyden he would infect many both brated Hugo Grotius, then a young at home and abroad. He said further man at College, out of admiration that if charged with unsound views of the splendid talents of Arminius he might, in order to secure the used every effort to further his ap. Professorship, deny the charge and pointment. The popular candidate promise better things, but no faith was extolled to the skies, at Leyden, was to be attached to his words, and as 'the light of the Low Countries, the Curators must proceed in this and one born for Academic fame.' matter with the greatest caution.

As soon as the news of the nomi. After this shameful and wanton libel nation of Arminius spread abroad the upon an eminent and honoured old spirit of opposition began to minister of the Church, Gomar show itself. The zeal of party and was asked what he knew of Arminius prejudice fired up afresh. The personally and of his correspondence tongue of envy and scandal was with Junius. It appeared from his once more busy. To prevent the reply, that he knew scarcely any. Carators from coming at once to thing of him, that he had spoken to decision in the matter, forgotten him but once and then at a distance, calumnies were revived. It was and that he had not even seen the insinuated that Arminius might be correspondence. When closely an expert logician but he was no questioned for the authority upon theologian, that he thirsted after which he made such serious charges, novelties and had an itch for dis. he gave the name of the old zealotputation, that he was utterly unfit Peter Planc. to direct the studies of young and From the doubtful basis upon ardent minds, that he was tainted which these grave charges rested, with the Coornhertian heresy, that and the harsh and uncharitable spirit his wife inherited it from her father. in wbich they were made, it was Ruchlin, formerly his colleague at not likely that the Governors of the Amsterdam, now Professor at Ley. College would be disposed to den, said passionately in anticipa- abandon their proposal. But out of tion of the election of Arminius; regard to the Professors, and to the * Pray, what shall I, an old man, do ? peace of the College, some little Shall I suffer my pupils to attend delay was suffered to occur. Before the Academy, and hear and carry coming to a formal resolution to away with them new doctrines every I invite Arminius to the Professorship,

Liberality of the Dutch Laity.

219 the Curators determined to satisfy his removal to the Presbytery. It was themselves as to his orthodoxy. clear they did not share the sus, The question now assumed a wide picions of bis accusers. Indeed and even provincial importance. throughout the whole of the un. The ill - fated Barnevelt, Prime seemly contention it will be obMinister of the States of Holland, served that the laity never acted in and Uitenbogardt, then chaplain to unison with the clergy. The Prince Maurice, were called into most bitter, the most violent, the counsel. At the request and on be- least charitable of his enemies half of the Curators an interview Arminius always found in the with Arminius was sought by his sacred profession to which he him. friend Uitenbogardt. The full par- self belonged. The leading states. ticulars of all the controversies in men of the day, all well-read Burgo. which he had engaged were re- masters and merchants, were greatly quested and freely furnished. The in advance of divines on the im. views of Arminius, so far as they portant questions involved in the were then developed, on the subject politics of the Reformation. They of predestination were solicited and had studied, and not in vain, the frankly given. The Curators were signs of the times. They valued informed of the result. After religious liberty far more than mature deliberation upon it, they no universal consent to catechisms of longer hesitated as to the course they orthodoxy or systematic formularies should take. Arminius, it appeared, of faith. They could not agree to differed from his brethren upon a the principle that to tolerate more doctrine upon which difference of religion than one was to make peace opinion had always prevailed in the with the devil. They would not Reformed Church. The sentiments burn, hang, or banish peaceable be held were neither new nor citizens for holding an heretical heterodox. The celebrated J. Hol. creed. They declined to lend the man had some time before stoutly force of civil power in order to maintained and defended them in strengthen the ban of excommuni. that same University ; and by no cation. Outside the recognized Synod of their own, or of the church of the nation they secured primitive church, had they ever the rights of conscience to Anabeen condemned. There was no baptists, to Independents, to Roman reason at all, they conceived, why Catholics; within the pale of the Arminius should not fill with honour church they would not deny the and usefulness the chair of Divinity rights of conscience to the dis. at Leyden. The decision to call him ciples of Melancthon and Erasmus. to the office was therefore taken, They had not learned their political and two of the Curators, men of wisdom where the clergy had great influence, conveyed the invita- learned their divinity, from the tion in person, being empowered to writings of Calvin, or the lips of treat with the Presbytery at Amster- Beza; and they looked upon the dam for the dismissal of Arminius. Reformation a struggle of

But another and almost unex. doubtful advantage if it delivered pected difficulty presents itself. them from the inquisition of Spain The Burgomasters of the city have and the tyranny of Rome only to too high an appreciation of the subject them to Genevan metatalents, and too great an esteem for physics and the yoke of a new the character, of Arminius to re- Papacy. So the Burgomasters of linquish their claim to his services Amsterdam, and the Curators of without a struggle. They do not Leyden, did not agree with the forget their benefactions and clergy in their estimate of the his pledges, and having supreme character of Arminius. authority in the city they refuse to The pause that occured in the permit the Curators even to propose | prosecution of the call of Arminius

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