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within these few years. But they firmly believe, that, under a steady and resolute government, exercising an enlightened and tender guardianship over the people, opening the way to the liberty of preaching, by preventing riot and disturbance, the evils of her condition would, by the blessing of God, gradually disappear; but without such remedies, applicable to the hearts and minds of all, the present evils will go on increasing, and only increasing the more by the agitation of political questions, which engender delusive hopes amongst the people, to issue in disappointment.
“ That all the arguments derived from liberty of conscience, for what is called * Catholic Emancipation, your petitioners regard as founded in error, and serving only to mislead; seeing there is nothing to prevent the Papist from worshipping in the way which seemeth to him good : and all intimidations of violent and foolish men, your petitioners regard as holding of rebellion and treason, and to be treated only with contempt by a people, who have in the strength of God subdued mighty kingdoms and put down tyrannies not a few.
“ That your petitioners hold that it is against the laws of God and the laws of this kingdom, against the Act of Settlement, against the Coronation Oath of the King, and the oaths of the Members of both Houses of Parliament (which oaths are not entered into with the people, but with Christ, the head of power, and may not be broken), against the foundations of the Established Churches, against both Acts of Union, and against every other muniment of the kingdom of Great Britain, to symbolize or intercommune in any act of government with that wicked system of which the Pope is the head ; and much more to take men acknowledging him into the heart of the councils of the kingdom, from which a Papist, in the act of professing himself a Papist, doth necessarily exclude himself.
“ That your petitioners, being Protestants by birth, by baptism, and by principle, and being resolved not only to maintain the Christian verity, but also, through the help of God, to hold fast the protestation of their Fathers against the apostasy, do regard the question about to be agitated in Parliament as the question of the standing or falling kingdom of Great Britain, whose palladium, whose regalia, whose crown and sceptre, are thereby put to stake : and if the estates of the kingdom should be so far blinded, as to introduce adherents of the Pope into the high places and responsible offices of the state, your petitioners doubt not that God will judge such an act of national apostasy in a way becoming his own holiness; commensurate with the unfaithfulness that would sell national principle, national honour, and national faith, to base fears and intimidations; and due to the ingratitude of forgetting the innumerable blessings and inestimable benefits which, as the great Protesting kingdom, we have for so many ages enjoyed.
“That your petitioners, heing loyal subjects of our Sovereign Lord the King, are not unwilling to suffer with their brethren, and are ready at any time to sacrifice their substance in defence of his person, of his parliament, and of his kingdom-yea, to die for their king and country, in every good cause, and especially in resisting all the plots and efforts of Anti-christian powers : but it is their hearts' desire that our beloved sovereign should be preserved against the great enemy of kings, our Protestant churches against the great persecutor of the churches, and our free-born people against the great enemy of Christian and political liberty.
“ Your petitioners do therefore entreat your Right Honourable House, by the fear of God-by the obedience of Christ—by the safety of the king-by the good faith of the nation-and by every other sacred principle, not to consent to any proposition which may be made for admitting Papists into any office under the king, or in the parliament, beyond those which they at present hold.
“And your petitioners will ever pray."
ON THE STATE OF RELIGION IN HOLLAND. NO. II.
Thus it appears, that, if actually levying soldiers in opposition to the supreme authority in the state be treason, then were Oldenbarneveld and his party actually guilty of treason. And this was all (ostensibly at least) to support the Arminian party, and maintain their cause. What purposes of private ambition that proud and restless statesman had in view, it is not easy at this distance of time to determine; but he was suspected at the time of having some understanding with the Spaniards, the mortal enemies of his country, which was inconsistent with the character of a faithful servant of the States. In truth, he and his party stuck at nothing that could help their cause, and oppress the faithful and zealous maintainers of those truths which had been sealed to them with the blood of heroes and martyrs. Upon his own responsibility he wrote letters, in the name of the States, to their ambassadors, and to foreign princes; thus assuming to himself sovereign authority. He plotted and contrived measures beforehand with the representatives of the cities which were under his influence, in order that they might carry every thing their own way in the assembly of the States of Holland, by means of a packed and prepared majority. He carried on a correspondence with the aristocratic faction in the provinces of Utretch and Overyssel, in a manner which tended utterly to dissolve the union between the confederated States. He did every thing in his power to make the States entirely independent of each other, in all that respected religion ; and to this end opposed, and prevented for years, the meeting of a national synod, which seemed to be the only means (and which proved in the end an effectual one) of restoring peace and order to the churches ; and even that of the regular provincial synods of North and South Holland, which had been accustomed to meet every year : and, of course, all affairs which belonged to the jurisdiction and cognisance of those synods ran into confusion, through the long and unlooked-for delay. These, and many such crimes, are detailed at length in the sentence pronounced against him by his judges ; in consequence of which he was beheaded, in the Hague, May 13, 1619;-a lamentable instance of a man whose pride, at the
age of seventy, brought him to the scaffold. from Trigland, that he had been hatching yet greater atrocities; and, perceiving that all his measures heretofore had not been sufficient to force his principles of toleration down the throats of the people, he had actually laid a plan to surprise four of the most zealous ContraRemonstrants in their beds; to bring them at once to the scaffold; cut off their heads; and then call the people together, to teach them, by this horrible example, what must be expected by those who vigorously opposed the proceedings and principles of the Arminian faction! But in order to effect this piece of cruel tyranny and oppression, he needed the consent and assistance of the Hoogen Raad, or Supreme Council, which he had made indeed subservient to too
But it appears
many of his plans, but which started with abhorrence from such enormities as these.
And this man is held up and eulogized by the Dutch Arminians, as the martyr to their cause, and to that of liberty, peace, and toleration ! In truth, pride, and the enmity of an ambitious and worldly mind against vital religion and all who professed it, seem to have been all along the ruling principles of his life and conduct; and he was every way qualified to be the head and leader of the worldly fac
tion in opposing and oppressing the church of Christ. I am persuaded, also, that whosoever impartially studies the history of those times will be compelled to the conclusion, that the faction of the Remonstrants were actuated by the same spirit and principles as their leader. And the falsehoods and slanders which they have ever since, and every where but too successfully, propagated, to vilify the true and faithful ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church, are all of a piece with the pride and tyranny which they exercised so long as they had the power in their hands, and concur therewith to prove that they belonged to the brood of Ishmael : for, “ as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now :” and it has been, and will be so, throughout all ages, so long as the distinction between the church and the world remains. Nor can I forbear to add one other striking proof of the true character of the Remonstrants, which is taken from a remark in the Letters of Sir Dudley Carleton, the Ambassador from England to the States during the years 1616, 1617, and 1618, when these disputes were at their highest. “ In those parts where there are the most Roman Catholics,” says he, “ as in the province of Utrecht and the city of Rotterdam, there also the Remonstrants prevail, and have the Romanists on their side.” Now is it conceivable, that—especially at that time, when the controversy between the Protestants and the Romanists was still at its height-the Remonstrants would have had the Romanists on their side, if they had been truly and zealously on the side of God and his Anointed? What does this alliance, this making of a common cause with them, prove, but that Antichrist publicly owned them as belonging to his party, and fit instruments to advance his cause? The Pharisees and the Sadducees can unite, we very well know, to oppress and persecute the true church of Christ; and I know of no other principle which will account for the union between the Arminians and the Romanists in the Netherlands. The true disciples of Christ have, both in doctrine and practice, renounced the devil, the world, and the flesh ; and therefore from all these, in every variety of shape which they can and will assume, they have nothing to expect but an alliance in hatred and opposition ; which in all its forms, and with all its bitterness and enmity, it is their bonour and glory to encounter : for the enemies of God and godliness give testimony to his truth and his people by opposing and reviling them; insomuch, that, if we would know whether we belong to the true church indeed, it would be well for us to inquire sometimes, Have we the world, the devil, and Antichrist against us? If not, it is a sad and fearful token that, in some measure and respects at least, we are compromising the purity, strictness, boldness, and truth of the Gospel.
I have said enough, I trust, to throw some light on the real character of the Arminian party in Holland. Perhaps it will occur to you, that Holland is not the only country in which, under pretence of excepting against those points which are called Calvinistic, and which are easily represented as replete with dangerous consequences, a systematic attack upon all vital godliness has been carried on. How many
have there been, and still are there, in our own country, highly exalted too, in station both in Church and State, and in reputation and learning, whose hatred and dread of Calvinism can be resolved into nothing else but the enmity of a worldly mind against vital god. liness! and even in many who, we trust, are regenerate, and walking in the strait and narrow road, do not the sad remainders of this enmity work in the same way? and does not the strength of remaining corruption betray itself in the bitterness and obstinacy with which they contend against the absolute, unquestionable sovereignty of God, and the doctrines immediately connected therewith? It is the old Adam in them evidently, which makes them perverse and unbelieving upon these points: and if they were more diligent in obeying the Apostolic injunction (Eph. iv. 17-24), would they not soon cease to oppose these truths? Perhaps, indeed, their errors and slow
progress arise principally from this cause, -that, though they would gladly put off worldly and carnal desires and conversation, they are not equally diligent to put off worldly and carnal opinions and doctrines; and they do not consider, that, in order to be delivered from the dominion of sin, it is as necessary to unlearn their natural habits of thinking and reasoning, as to put away the habits of sinful acting: for it is written, “ Sanctify them through thy truth : thy word is truth." Therefore, if we would indeed be sanctified, we need be careful to subject every notion and opinion to the word of God; and “ Thus it is written" must settle every question, both of doctrine and practice.
It is but a very small portion, a mere specimen, of the unwarrantable conduct of the Arminians, previous to the Synod of Dordrecht, that I have now adduced. To enter into particulars, I must fill a volume, instead of writing a letter; and I must hasten to say a few words respecting the Synod itself.
Arminius himself and his followers, on more than one occasion, had refused fully to explain their views on some points till the meeting of a National Synod. Thus they themselves had referred the controversy to that assembly, which (according to the constitution of the Dutch church) was considered the lawful judge of all such questions ; and the speedy meeting whereof was earnestly desired by all the orthodox party. The Arminians, however, did every thing in their power to prevent or delay that meeting. The whole influence of Oldenbarneveld, Grotius, and their partizans, in Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel, was exerted to throw impediments in the way of it. VOL. III.-NO, II.
They knew and felt, that neither their doctrines nor their conduct could bear the scrunity to which they would be then subject. They appeared also to have all the power and influence on their side: for Prince Maurice, who alone could effectually oppose Oldenbarneveld, seemed determined to hold himself neutral in these disputes. But no doubt the oppressed and suffering Christians in the Netherlands, who could obtain no help or redress from man, bad long been committing their cause to God by eatnest prayer; and, at length, He visibly interposed for their relief, in such time and manner as made His hand peculiarly manifest. One of the ministers, who was oppressed and suspended from his office, by the influence of the Remonstrants, for not conforming to the Act of mutual toleration, was Rosæus--a plain, simple-hearted, but zealous man, who bas the honour of being uniformly spoken of with particular contempt by all the enemies of the truth from that time to this. He was stationed in the Hague, where he steadily refused to partake of the Sacrament along with his colleague Uitenbogaard, and evidently from conscientious motives. This was considered as a high offence by Oldenbarneveld and his party. He was, on one occasion, summoned before a council composed entirely of his adversaries, and not one appeared to take his part. The proud advocate of Holland (Oldenbarneveld) observing this, turned to him with great contempt, and said, “Well
, Mr. Rosæus, there you stand alone ?” “Yes, Mr. Advocate," replied he; “ alone—but with God, and the thousands who yet remain faithful to God in this our Israel :"which might have been sufficient to teach that haughty statesman, how God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. It would seem, that the oppression of this good man served to bring the true state of the question between the Remonstrants and the Contra-Remonstrants more immediately under the notice of Prince Maurice. In consequence of a petition addressed to him, he interested himself so far, that one of the churches in the Hague was made over to Rosæus and his friends, with permission to exercise his ministry there undisturbed, and according to his own conscience : and about a fortnight afterwards (on the 23d of July, 1617) he himself, along with Count William, the Stadholder of Vriesland, went publicly to church there, which was the first act whereby he openly took part with the Contra-Remonstrants. From that time he resolutely espoused their cause: being, it seems, convinced that it was indeed the pure Reformed religion for which they were contending, and that the outcry of toleration on the other side was a mere pretext, under which the Remonstrants were seeking to oppress and put to silence all who opposed them, in order that they might carry, every thing their own way. Accordingly, his advice being once asked in an assembly of the States, wlien matters had been previously set forth in a manner very unfavourable to the Contra-Remonstrants, he called for the register, in which was entered the oath which he had taken when he entered upon his office, in the year 1586; which having been read in the presence of them all, his Excellency called the attention of the