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The Life of Hugo Grotius
by Charles Butler
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[Sidenote: CHAP. V. 1610-1617.]

The celebrated JAMES ARMINIUS[019] was at their head. He was born in 1560, at Oudewater in Holland, of respectable parents. He lost his father in his infancy, and was indebted, for the first rudiments of his education, to a clergyman, who had imbibed some opinions of the reformed religion. Under his tuition, Arminius studied, during some time, at Utrecht. After the clergyman's decease, Rudolphus Snellius, a clergyman of eminence, took Arminius under his protection, and, in 1575, placed him at Marpurgh. There, he heard of the taking of Oudewater by the Spaniards, and their massacre of its inhabitants. His mother, sister, and two brothers were among the victims. On the first intelligence of the calamity he repaired to Oudewater, in hopes that the account of it might have been exaggerated. Finding it true, he retired to Leyden: there, his severe application to study, and the regularity of his morals, gained him universal esteem. In 1563, he was sent to Geneva, at the expense of the magistrates of Amsterdam, to perfect his studies under the care of Beza. Unfortunately, by adopting the philosophical principles, of Ramus, and unguardedly professing them, he displeased some leading men of the university, and was obliged to leave it: he then went to Basle. There, his reputation having preceded him, he was received with great kindness: the faculty of divinity offered him a doctor's degree; but a general wish for his return being expressed at Geneva, he declined the honour, and returned to that city. He then visited Italy, and, during some months, studied under Zabarella, a famous philosopher, who then lectured at Padua. In 1588, Arminius was ordained minister at Amsterdam.

[Sidenote: Arminius.]

Some theologians of Delft having attacked the sentiments of Calvin and Beza upon predestination, and given great offence by it, they defended themselves by a book, entitled; "An Answer to certain Arguments of Beza and Calvin, in the treatise concerning Predestination; or upon the ninth Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans." They transmitted their defence to Martin Lydius, a partisan of the divines whom it attacked; he sent it to Arminius, with a request that he would answer it. Arminius undertook the task, and attentively examined and weighed the arguments on each side; the result was, that he embraced the opinions which he had been called upon to confute, and even went further than the ministers of Delft. Upon this account, the friends of the rejected principles raised a great clamour against him; but were quieted by the intervention of the magistrates. The opinions, which Arminius adopted, he endeavoured to propagate. They are contained in the Remonstrance of his disciples, which we shall afterwards transcribe.

[Sidenote: CHAP. V. 1610-1617.]

As the language of Arminius seemed to express notions, more consonant than those of Calvin, to the sentiments entertained by rational Christians, of the goodness and justice of the Deity, it is not surprising that they found many advocates among the learned and moderate; but some ardent spirits were offended by them, and instilled their dislike of them into the populace. This, Arminius was soon made to feel. In 1603, he was appointed, on the death of Francis Junius, to a professorship of theology in the university of Leyden: great efforts were made, first to prevent, and afterwards to procure a recision of his appointment. He was accused of having said in a sermon, that "God had not yet sent his letter of divorce to the church of Rome;" but his friends produced a work of Francis Junius, his predecessor in the theological chair, in which that celebrated theologian had used the same expression. Arminius was also accused by his adversaries, of elevating the action of reason in the choice of good, at the expense of grace. To this Arminius replied, by accusing his adversaries of sacrificing reason entirely to grace. But the greater number of the enemies of Arminius supported their charges against him, by making it a question of authority: "the States," they said, "had decided the question, by adopting Calvin's doctrine at the union; so that the gainsayers of it were guilty of treason." The friends of Arminius replied, that he did not deny Calvin's doctrine, but merely explained it.

[Sidenote: Arminius.]

Thus they disputed;

"And found no end, in wandering mazes lost." Milton.

In fact, the subject,—as the writer has more than once observed,—is above human reason: the day will come, "when the Almighty will be judged, and will overcome;"—when the secret of his councils will be unfolded, and their justice and goodness made manifest to all.[020]

The friends of Arminius also observed, that he was by no means singular in his doctrine; that it was favoured by professors in Gueldres, Friesland, Utrecht, and other parts of Holland; and, that in all the provinces, it was patronized by the higher ranks of the laity. Was it fitting, they asked, that the peace of the church, and the tranquillity of the state, should be disturbed by such a dispute? by a dispute which affected no essential article of christianity; no civil, no moral, no religious observation?

[Sidenote: CHAP. V. 1610-1617.]

The principal adversary of Arminius was Gomarus, also a professor of theology at Leyden. When the election of Arminius was proposed, Gomarus announced suspicions of his orthodoxy; he afterwards raised his tone, and accused Arminius of Pelagianism, of secretly inclining to the church of Rome, and holding principles which led to general scepticism and infidelity.

Arminius died on the 19th October 1609.

Grotius made his eulogium in verse. He had hitherto applied little to these matters; he acknowledges, in a letter written in 1609, his general ignorance of them. Entering afterwards into the dispute, he became convinced that the idea, which we ought to have of the goodness and justice of God, and even the language of the scriptures and the early fathers of the church, favoured the system of Arminius, and contradicted that of Gomarus.

The prejudices against the Arminians increasing, they drew up a Remonstrance, dated the 14th January 1610, and addressed it to the States of Holland. It begins by stating what they do not believe: it afterwards propounds their own sentiments in the five articles following:[021]

[Sidenote: Remonstrance.]

1. "That God, by an eternal and immutable decree in Jesus Christ his son, before the world was created, resolved to save in Jesus Christ, on account of Jesus Christ, and through Jesus Christ, those, from among mankind fallen in sin, who, by the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in his same son Jesus; and through the same grace continue in the faith and obedience to the end; and, on the contrary, to leave under sin, and wrath, and to condemn the obstinate and unbelieving, as having no part in Christ; according to what is said St. John iii. 36.

2. "That accordingly, Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world, died for all and every man; and by his death on the cross has merited for all, reconciliation with God, and remission of sin; in such manner nevertheless, that no one can partake of them but believers, according to the words of Jesus, St. John iii. 16., 1 John ii. 2.

3. "That man hath not saving faith of himself, and by the strength of his own free will; since, while in a state of sin and apostasy, he cannot of himself think, desire, or do, that which is truly good, which is what is chiefly meant by saving faith; but it is necessary that God in Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Spirit, regenerate and renew him in his understanding and affections, or in his will and all his powers; that he may know the true good, meditate on it, desire, and do it. St. John xv. 5.

[Sidenote: CHAP. V. 1610-1617.]

4. "That to this grace of God is owing the beginning, the progression, and accomplishment of all good; in such manner, that even the regenerate, without this antecedent, or preventing, exciting, concomitant, and cooperating grace, cannot think that, which is good, desire or practise it; nor resist any temptation to evil; so that all the good works or actions he can conceive, spring from the grace of God; that as to what regards the manner of operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, since it is said of several, they resisted the Holy Spirit. See Acts vii. and other places.

5. "That those, who by a lively faith are engrafted into Christ, and consequently made partakers of his quickening spirit, are furnished with sufficient strength to be able to combat, and even overcome Satan, sin, the world, and their own lusts; and all this, as is carefully to be observed, by the assistance of the grace and the Holy Spirit; and that Jesus Christ succours them by his spirit in all temptations, reaches to them his hand, (provided they be willing to engage, ask his assistance, and are not wanting to themselves,) supports and strengthens them: so, that they cannot be led away by any wile or violence of Satan, or snatched out of Christ's hands, as he says himself, St. John x. My sheep shall no man pluck out of my hands. For the rest, if it be asked whether these may not through negligence let go the confidence they had from the beginning, (Heb. iii. 6.) cleave again to the present world, depart from the holy doctrine, which was delivered, make shipwreck of a good conscience? (2 Pet. i. 10., Jude iii., 1 Tim. i. 19., Heb. xii. 15.) This must be previously examined with more care, by the Scriptures, to be able to teach it with full assurance to others."

Such is the Confession of Faith of the Arminians: they gave it the name of Remonstrance; and were styled from it REMONSTRANTS. It was drawn up by Utengobard, minister at the Hague, with the help, it is supposed, of Grotius: it was signed by forty-six ministers.

[Sidenote: Contra-Remonstrance.]

The Gomarists opposed to it a Contra-Remonstrance; which gave them the name of the CONTRA-REMONSTRANTS.

It was about this time, that Grotius was elected Pensionary of Rotterdam, and ordered to England: it has been suggested, that he had secret instructions from the Arminians, to induce king James to favour their principles.

[Sidenote: CHAP. V. 1610-1617.]

We are informed, by Mr. Nichols, (Calvinism and Arminianism compared,)[022] that the Arminians sent to King James by Grotius, a true state of their case; that Grotius found an adversary in Archbishop Abbott, and friends in Bishops Andrews and Overal; and that by their advice the monarch addressed to the States General, a wise and conciliatory letter.

The irritation of the public mind increasing, the States of Holland, to restore tranquillity, published an edict of Pacification, by which they strongly enjoined forbearance, toleration, and silence. This was favourable to the Arminians, but it increased the violence of the Contra-remonstrants. Thus, it became a signal of war. The States of Holland transmitted it to King James: his Majesty, the archbishop of Canterbury, and the other English prelates, allowed its doctrine to be orthodox.

[Sidenote: Remonstrants—Contra-Remonstrants.]

Still, the troubles in Holland augmented: riots took place and greater riots were apprehended. In an evil hour, Barneveldt, the Grand-Pensionary, proposed to the States of Holland, that the magistrates of the cities of that province should he empowered to raise troops for the suppression of the rioters. Amsterdam, Dort, and other towns, that favoured the Gomarists, protested against this measure, styling it a declaration of war against the Contra-remonstrants. Yet, on the 4th August 1617, Barneveldt's proposition was agreed to, and promulgated.

We have mentioned the enmity of Prince Maurice to Barneveldt, on account of his having promoted the armistice of 1609, and his favouring the republican party. The Prince professed to consider the edict of Pacification as derogatory of his authority, and forbade the soldiers to obey the States, if they should be ordered to act against the rioters. He publicly declared, that he favoured the Gomarists; he assisted, at the divine service, in their churches only, and shewed them every other mark of public favour. Exulting in this powerful support, the Gomarists separated themselves, formally, from the Arminians.

[Sidenote: CHAP. V. 1610-1617.]

To bring over Amsterdam to their sentiments, the States of Holland sent a deputation to the burgomasters of that city, and placed Grotius at its head. On the day after their arrival in Amsterdam, the burgomasters assembled to receive the deputies. Grotius addressed them in an argumentative and eloquent speech. He urged the necessity and advantage of religious toleration, particularly upon theoretical points of doctrine. He observed to the assembly, that Bullinger and Melancthon had been tolerated by Deza and Calvin; that James, the King of Great Britain, had advanced, in his writings, that each of the two opposite opinions on Predestination might be maintained without danger of reprobation; that Gomarus himself had declared that Arminius had not erred in any fundamental article of Christian doctrine; that the contested articles were of a very abstruse nature; that the affirmative or negative of the doctrines expressed in them, had not been determined; and that toleration would restore tranquillity and union, and favour the assembling of a numerous and respectable synod, which might labour with success in restoring peace to the church.

Grotius delivered his speech in the Dutch language; it was afterwards translated into Latin; all, who heard, admired it; but it produced no effect on them. The deputies were uncivilly dismissed; and the oration of Grotius, by an order of the States General, was suppressed.[023]

[Sidenote: Feuds of the Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants.]

He was much affected by the bad success of his mission: he was seized with a fever, which nearly proved fatal to him. Many of his friends sought to persuade him to retire from the contest: he told them that he had taken his resolution after deep deliberation; that he was aware of his danger, and that he submitted the event to providence.

The next effort of the States of Holland to pacify the troubles, was to prepare a formula of peace, which the ministers of the two parties should be obliged to sign. It contained nothing contrary to the doctrine of Calvin; it referred the five articles to future examination, and prescribed, in the mean time, silence upon the parts in dispute. Grotius drew up the Formula; it was shewn to Prince Maurice, and rejected by him.

[Sidenote: CHAP. V. 1610-1617.]

Matters now converged to a crisis:—we have more than once mentioned the opposite politics of Prince Maurice and Barneveldt, the Grand-Pensionary; the former wishing to draw the whole sovereign power to himself; the latter endeavouring to preserve and stabilitate the the constitution of the Provinces, as it had been settled by the Act of Union. We noticed that the Gomarists sided with the Prince; the Arminians with the Grand-Pensionary. As the Prince was aware that the States of Holland were favourable to the Arminians, that the States General were opposed to them, and that the clergy of each denomination partook of the civil and ecclesiastical opinions of their flocks, he convened a national synod of the clergy; and, that be might the more overawe his opponents and strengthen his own party, he appointed the synod to meet in Holland. Against this synod the provinces of Holland, Utretcht, and Overyssell protested. Barneveldt was so much affected by the disturbances, and a view of the evils with which they appeared to threaten his country, that he sought to resign his place of Grand-Pensionary; but the States of the province of Holland, which needed more than ever the counsels of such an experienced minister, sent a deputation to him, beseeching him not to abandon them in times of so much difficulty. He thought it his duty to yield to their entreaty, and continued to exercise the functions of his office.

[Sidenote: Imprisonment of Barneveldt, Grotius and Hoogerbetz.]

To frustrate the designs of Prince Maurice, several cities favourable to the Arminians levied bodies of militia, and gave them the name of Attendant Soldiers. The States-General, at the instigation of Prince Maurice, enjoined the cities to disband them. The cities generally disobeyed these orders. In this they were justified by the established constitution: the Prince, however, treated their conduct as rebellious; and, in concert with the States General, marched in person, at the head of his troops, against the refractory cities. Wherever he came, he disarmed and disbanded the new levies; deposed the Arminian magistrates, and expelled the ministers of their party.

In the provinces of Gueldres and Overyssell, he met with no resistance; and little at Arnheim: greater resistance was expected at Utretcht: the States of Holland sent Grotius and Hoogerbetz, the Pensionary of Leyden, to stimulate the inhabitants to resistance; but the fortune of the Prince prevailed. In an extraordinary assembly, which consisted of eight persons only, yet assuming to act as the States General, the Prince procured an ordonnance to be passed, which directed Barneveldt, Grotius, and Hoogerbetz to be taken into immediate custody. They were accordingly arrested, and confined in the Castle at the Hague.

[Sidenote: CHAP. V. 1610-1617.]

Thus the Prince's party prevailed in every part of the United Provinces. About this time, he succeeded, in consequence of the death of his elder brother, to the dignity of Prince of Orange.



CHAPTER VI.

THE SYNOD OF DORT.

1618.

[Sidenote: CHAP. VI. 1618.]

The States General determined that the Synod[024] should be composed of twenty-six divines of the United Provinces, twenty-eight foreign divines, five professors of divinity, and sixteen laymen;—seventy-five members in the whole. The expence was calculated at 100,000 florins. The English divines were, Dr. George Carlton, Bishop of Llandaff; Dr. Joseph Hall, Dean of Worcester; John Davenant, professor of divinity, and Master of Queen's college, Cambridge; Samuel Ward, Archdeacon of Taunton, and head of Sidney college, Cambridge. To these were added, Walter Balcanqual, a Scottish theologian, as representative of the Scottish churches. The ever-memorable John Hales of Eaton, as that learned and amiable person is justly termed by protestant writers, was permitted to attend the debates of the Synod, but was not allowed to speak, or take any part in its proceedings.

[Sidenote: The Synod of Dort.]

We have mentioned that Arminius was converted to the opinions, which he defended afterwards so strenuously, by the perusal of a work in support of the opposite doctrine, which he had been desired to confute. In the same manner, the proceedings of the Contra-Remonstrants, at the Synod of Dort, made Mr. Hales a Remonstrant. We are informed by his friend Mr. Faringdon, that, in his younger days, he was a Calvinist; but that some explanations given by Episcopius of the text in John iii. 16, induced him, as he himself said, to "bid John Calvin, Good Night." His letters from Dort to Sir Dudley Carleton, the English ambassador at the Hague, contain an interesting account of the proceedings of the assembly.[025] [Sidenote: CHAP. VI. 1618.]

Dr. Heylin says, in his "Quinquarticular History," that the theologians sent by King James to Dort, were inclined to condemn the Remonstrants; but he intimates that the monarch acted from reasons of state; and that he was more hostile to their persons than their doctrines: Brand makes the same remark upon Prince Maurice. It seems to be admitted, that, in the conference at Hampton Court, King James declared against absolute predestination.[026]

The English divines arrived at the Hague on the 5th November 1618: they were immediately presented to the States General, and most honourably received.

[Sidenote: The Synod of Dort.]

The King of France had permitted two Protestant theologians of his kingdom to attend the Synod; but afterwards revoked the permission. The French Protestant churches had deputed to it, the celebrated Peter de Moulin and Andrew Rivet; but the King prohibited their attending it, under severe penalties.

After the election of the members was finally adjusted, the Synod appeared to be composed of about seventy Contra-Remonstrants and fourteen Arminians.

It was opened on the 13th of November 1618. Two commissioners of the States placed themselves on the right side of the chimney of the room; the English divines were placed on the left; seats were kept vacant for the French; the third place was assigned to the deputies from the Palatinate; the fourth, to those from Hesse; the fifth, to the Swiss; the sixth to the Genevans; the seventh to the theologians from Bremen; and the eighth to those from Embden. The professors of theology were placed immediately after the commissioners; then, the ministers and elders of the country. By an arrangement, favoured by the States, thirty-six ministers and twenty elders were added to the five professors. Of this the Remonstrants complained, on the just ground, that it evidently gave their adversaries an undue preponderance.

[Sidenote: CHAP. VI. 1618.]

The commissioners nominated the celebrated Daniel Heinsius secretary. The Remonstrants objected to him; they admitted his extensive acquaintance with polite literature, and his elegant taste; but asserted, that he possessed no theological learning, and was prejudiced against them. Episcopius was always considered to be at the head of the Remonstrants: he has seldom been excelled in learning, eloquence, or power of argumentation.

No further business than arranging the forms of sitting and voting, was transacted at the first session of the Synod. At the second, the Synod constituted John Bogerman its president, and appointed two assessors and two secretaries: all five were distinguished for their known hostility to the Remonstrants. The appointment of Bogerman particularly offended them, as he openly avowed it to be his opinion that heretics should be punished by death; and had translated into the Dutch language the celebrated treatise of Beza, de haereticis a civili magistratu puniendis, in which this doctrine is explicitly maintained in its fullest extent.

[Sidenote: The Synod of Dort.]

In the third session,—the deputies from Geneva produced their commission: it was expressed in terms decidedly hostile to the Remonstrants.

In the fourth session,—the grand preliminary question,—in what manner the Remonstrants were to be summoned,—came under consideration. After much argument, it was settled, by a great majority of voices, that "Episcopius and some other Remonstrants should within a fortnight, appear before the Synod, as the sovereign ecclesiastical tribunal of the United States."

The Remonstrants and the advocates of their cause protested against this proceeding: they called in question the authority of the Synod to sit as judges upon them, or even to decide any point of doctrine definitively: they averred it contrary to the evangelical liberty professed and taught by the first Reformers. Every friend to the true principles of the reformation must admit the force of this objection.

The 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th Sessions of the intermediate fortnight, were consumed in debates upon a projected new translation of the Scriptures; the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Sessions were employed in discussions, upon a new catechism, and other ecclesiastical arrangements.

[Sidenote: CHAP. VI. 1618.]

The 22d Session was held on the 6th of December. The Remonstrants appeared before the Synod, and requested further time for preparing their defence on the articles with which they were charged. Their request was denied: and Episcopius having said, that "They wished to enter into a conference with the Synod," a resolution was passed, by which the Synod declared, that "the Remonstrants had not been cited to confer with the Synod; but to propound their opinions, and submit to its judgment."

The Remonstrants then paid their visits to the foreign theologians: these they found greatly prejudiced against them; they therefore published two short writings, explaining and justifying their sentiments.

In the 23d Session, Episcopius made a long discourse. Mr. John Hales praised it highly, in a letter addressed by him to the English ambassador An oath was prescribed to the members, by which they promised, that, in the examination of the five articles, "or any other points of doctrine which should be discussed, they would confine themselves to the Scriptures, and resort to no human authority." But, what was the Synod itself more than human authority? The oath was not tendered to the Remonstrants; it was declined by the Swiss.

[Sidenote: The Synod of Dort.]

The 24th Session was consumed in debates: on the 25th, Episcopius read a long document, and afterwards presented it to the Synod. He protested in it against the authority of the Synod, and asked the searching question, whether the Calvinists would "submit to a Synod of Lutherans?" To this question, no answer was given: an angry discussion followed.

It continued during the 27th and 28th Sessions.

On the 29th, the opinions of foreign divines were produced in favour of the authority of the Synod: those of the English divines, and the divines of Bremen, were expressed with more moderation than the others. The divines of Geneva stated, that, "if a person obstinately refused to submit to the just decisions of the church, he might be proceeded against in two ways; the magistrate might coerce him, and the church might publicly excommunicate him as a violator of the law of God."

The dispute was more violent in the 30th Session.

Finally, the Remonstrants agreed to propound their sentiments in writing; but with an express salvo, of their right to liberty of conscience, and to retain their objections to the authority of the Synod.

In the 31st Session, the Remonstrants presented to the Synod a writing, containing their sentiments upon Predestination,—the first and most important of the five articles.

[Sidenote: CHAP. VI. 1618.]

In the 34th Session, they presented their sentiments upon the four other articles; and in the 39th Session, upon the Catechism of Heidelberg. The Synod had enjoined them to confine themselves to explanations of their own doctrine, and to abstain from controverting the doctrines of the Calvinists. These debates carried the Synod to its 46th Session.

In that session, the resolution of the States General upon the proceedings of the Synod was produced. They declared by it, that "the Remonstrants were obliged to submit to the decrees of the Synod,"—and that "if they persisted in their disobedience to them, both the censures of the church, and the penalties by which the States punished violators of public authority, should be inflicted upon them." The States ordered the Remonstrants to remain, in the meantime, in the town.

The Remonstrants persisting in their refusal to acknowledge the authority of the Synod, an assembly of it met on the 57th Session, and formally expelled the Remonstrants from the Synod. Episcopius exclaimed, "May God decide between the Synod and us!" "I appeal," said Niellius, "from the injustice of the Synod, to the throne of Jesus Christ." All remained firm in their protestation.

[Sidenote: The Synod of Dort.]

Mr. Hales and Mr. Balcanqual, in their letters to the English ambassador, blame the proceedings of the Synod.[027] The only question between the Synod and the Remonstrants was, whether the latter would submit to acknowledge the authority of the former. This, the Remonstrants uniformly refused to do. In almost every Synod there was a repetition of the same demand, and of the same answer. By every English reader, the demand of the Synod will be thought exorbitant.

[Sidenote: CHAP VI. 1618.]

The Synod relaxed afterwards so far, as to permit the Remonstrants to deliver their sentiments in writing: they did it at great length. But they still persisted in objecting to the authority of the Synod, and to be examined by it. The Synod therefore proceeded against them in their absence; and ultimately, on the 24th of April 1610, pronounced them guilty of pestilential errors, and corruptors of the true religion. The five articles were formally condemned; Episcopius and the other ministers were deposed.

[Sidenote: The Synod of Dort.]

"There are conclusions," says Grotius,[028] in a letter written by him in the same year, "in the canons of the Synod of Dort, of which, if good Melancthon were again to make his appearance, he would express his disapprobation, and with which Bullinger would be no less grieved; there are others, which alienate all the Lutherans from the Calvinists; although amity and concord are desirable between them and us at this juncture. There are some points in them, which forbid the Greek churches from uniting with us, though they are very favourable to us; but there are others of the Dort canons, which admit of no controversy.—It is possible that they may recall to mind my labours for unity. Even those writings, which I published since my calamity, have not been diverted from the same peaceful object." If ever any Protestant divines deserved the reproach cast by Mr. Gibbon,[029] on the first reformers in general, "of being ambitious to succeed the tyrants whom they had dethroned," they were the members of the Synod of Dort.

The Synod was closed on the 29th of May.

The sentence passed by it on the Remonstrants was approved by the States General on the 3d July 1619. On the same day, the Arminian ministers, who had been detained at Dort, were, by a sentence of the States General, banished or imprisoned, deprived of their employments, and the effects of some were confiscated. Similar severities were exercised on the Arminians in most of the territories subject to the States General. To avoid the persecution, some fled to Antwerp, some to France, the greater part to Holstein. There, under the wise protection of the reigning duke, they settled, and afterwards built a town, which from him they called Friedericstadt.

They continued to assert the irregularity of the Synod: the Bishop of Meaux shrewdly observed, that "they employed against the authority of the Synod, the same arguments as the Protestants use against the authority of the Council of Trent."

[Sidenote: CHAP VI. 1618.]

[Sidenote: The Synod of Dort.]

For the publication of Acts of the Council, divines were chosen out of various districts of the United Provinces: their edition of the Acts was published at Dort in the year 1620, in folio, in the types of the Elzevirs; and was soon afterwards republished with greater correctness, in the same year, at Hanover, in quarto, with an addition of a copious index.—An Epistle of their High Mightinesses the States General, addressed to the Monarchs, Kings, Princes, Counts, Cities and Magistrates of the Christian world, and vouching for the authority and authenticity of the Acts,[030] is prefixed to this edition. The Remonstrants published an edition of the Acts in 1620, in 4to.: it is said,[031] that from a fear of their adversaries, it was printed on ship-board.

Here, the history of the Arminians, so far as it is connected with that part of the Life of Grotius to which our subject has hitherto led us, seems to close. We shall hereafter be called upon to resume it.



CHAPTER VII.

TRIAL AND IMPRISONMENT OF GROTIUS. HIS ESCAPE FROM PRISON.

1618-1621.

While the Synod of Dort continued its sittings, Prince Maurice and his party were actively employed in increasing the popular ferment against Barneveldt, Grotius and Hoogerbetz; in collecting evidence of the designs and practices of which they were accused, and in framing the legal proceedings against them in such a manner as was most likely both to procure their conviction, and to persuade the public of their guilt.

We have mentioned that their confinement took place on the 20th of August 1618, and that they were removed from the Hague, the original place of their imprisonment, to the Castle of Louvestein. On the 19th November, the States General, at the instigation of Prince Maurice, nominated twenty-six commissioners for their trial. All the prisoners objected both to the jurisdiction of the commissioners, and to that of the States General; and asserted that the States of Holland were their only competent judges. They observed, at the same time, that many of the judges were notoriously prejudiced against the Arminians.

[Sidenote: Trial and Imprisonment of Grotius.]

The act of accusation contained many general charges, and many averments of particular facts, supposed to substantiate them. It was alleged against the prisoners, that they had disturbed the established religion of the United Provinces; that, in direct contradiction of the articles of union, they had asserted the right of each province to decide for itself in matters of religion; that they had set up the authority and interests of the States of Holland and West Friesland against those of the States General; that they were the authors of the Insurrection at Utrecht; had levied, in opposition to the orders of government, the attendant soldiers; had raised jealousies between the Prince and several of the Provincial States, and between these and the States General; and that, by their habitual conduct, they had become public disturbers of the tranquillity of the republic, and councillors and practisers of schemes hostile to its welfare.

[Sidenote: CHAP. VII. 1618-1621.]

The Commissioners proceeded to the trial of Barneveldt. Uniformly protesting against the competency of the tribunal, Barneveldt defended himself with great firmness and ability. He controverted every article of the accusation, and concluded his defence, by a long and pathetic enumeration of the services, which he had rendered to the republic; and of the numerous actions, by which he had shewn his attachment to Prince William and Prince Maurice:—he proved that it had been principally owing to him, that the Stadtholderate had been conferred on the latter. He admitted that he had suspected the Prince of designs hostile to the constitution of the United Provinces, and had opposed the Prince in every measure, which appeared to have such a tendency; but he asserted that he never had resorted to means which the laws or constitution of the Provinces did not warrant. His arguments were unanswerable; but Prince Maurice was determined on his ruin; and the Commissioners were wholly subservient to the prince's views: they accordingly passed unanimously a sentence of death upon Barneveldt.

[Sidenote: Trial and Imprisonment of Grotius.]

Many of the princes of Europe expressed their dissatisfaction at these proceedings: none so much as the French monarch. To him, the great merit of Barneveldt had been long known. He considered that the conduct of Prince Maurice was likely to involve the United Provinces in troubles, of which Spain might take advantages. From personal regard to Barneveldt, and with a view of terminating the discord, the monarch sent an ambassador extraordinary to the United States, and ordered him to join Du Maurier, his ambassador in ordinary, in soliciting them in favour of the accused, and in labouring to restore the public tranquillity. The ambassadors executed their commission with the greatest zeal. They made many remonstrances, and had several audiences both with the States and the Prince. The States, instigated by the Prince, expressed great indignation at the proceedings of the ambassadors.

All the accused were respectably allied, and had many friends: numerous applications were made in their favour. They undeviatingly demeaned themselves with the firmness and modest dignity of conscious innocence. They persisted in denying the guilt attributed to them, and in protesting against the competency of the tribunal. They made no degrading submission. At a subsequent time, a son of Barneveldt having been condemned to death, his mother applied to Prince Maurice, for his pardon. The Prince observed to her, that she had made no such application in behalf of her husband; "No," she replied, "I know my son is guilty, I therefore solicit his pardon; I knew my husband was innocent, I therefore solicited no pardon for him."

[Sidenote: CHAP. VII. 1618—1621.]

On Monday morning, May 13, 1619, Barneveldt was informed that he was to be executed upon that day. He received the notification of it with great firmness; he inquired whether Grotius and Hoogerbetz were to suffer: being answered in the negative, he expressed much satisfaction, observing that "they were of an age to be still able to serve the republic."

"The scaffold for his execution," says Burigni, "was erected in the Court of the Castle at the Hague, facing the Prince of Orange's apartments. He made a short speech to the people, which is yet preserved in the Mercure Francoise. 'Burghers!' he said, 'I have been always your faithful countryman; believe not that I die for treason: I die for maintaining the rights and liberties of my country!' After this speech, the executioner struck off his head at one blow. It is affirmed that the Prince of Orange, to feast himself with the cruel pleasure of seeing his enemy perish, beheld the execution with a glass; the people looked on it with other eyes: many came to gather the sand wet with his blood, to keep it carefully in phials; and the crowd of those, who had the same curiosity, continued next day, notwithstanding all they could do to hinder them.

"Thus fell that great minister, who did the United Provinces as much service in the cabinet, as the Prince of Orange did in the field. It is highly probable that the melancholy end of this illustrious and unfortunate man was owing to his steadiness in opposing the design of making Prince Maurice Dictator."[032]

[Sidenote: Trial and Imprisonment of Grotius.]

The Prince pursued his triumph. Soon after the arrest of Grotius, the States of Holland presented a petition to the Prince, representing the arrest as a breach of their constitutional rights; the Prince referred it to the States General. To these, therefore, they presented a similar petition; praying at the same time, that Grotius might be tried by the laws and usages of the Provinces of Holland: no regard was shewn to their petitions.

[Sidenote: CHAP. VII. 1618—1621.]

Grotius had an invaluable friend:—he was no sooner arrested, than his wife petitioned to share his confinement throughout the whole of his imprisonment: it was denied. Grotius fell ill: she renewed the application: it was absolutely rejected: but neither his wife, nor any of the friends of Grotius ever recommended to him an unworthy submission. He always denied the competency of the tribunal appointed to try him: his wife and brother uniformly recommended him to persist in his plea.

Much disregard of form took place, and many arbitrary acts were perpetrated, in the proceedings against Grotius. On the 18th of May 1619, the Commissioners pronounced sentence against him. After enumerating all the charges, of which he was accused, and asserting that all were proved against him, the judges condemned him to perpetual imprisonment, and his estates to be confiscated. The same sentence was passed on Hoogerbetz; but the house of the latter was assigned to him for his imprisonment.

On the 6th of June, Grotius was taken to Louvestein. It lies near Gorcum, in South Holland, at the point of the island formed by the Vaal and the Meuse. Twenty-four sous a day were allowed for his maintenance; but his wife undertook to support him, during his confinement, from her own estate. She was at length admitted into prison with him, on condition that she should remain in it, while his imprisonment lasted.

[Sidenote: Trial and Imprisonment of Grotius.]

At first, his confinement was very rigid: by degrees it was relaxed: his wife was allowed to leave the prison for a few hours, twice in every week. He was permitted to borrow books, and to correspond, except on politics, with his friends.

He beguiled the tedious hours of confinement by study, relieving his mind by varying its objects. Antient and modern literature equally engaged his attention: Sundays he wholly dedicated to prayer and the study of theology.

Twenty months of imprisonment thus passed away. His wife now began to devise projects for his liberty. She had observed that he was not so strictly watched as at first; that the guards, who examined the chest used for the conveyance of his books and linen, being accustomed to see nothing in it but books and linen, began to examine them loosely: at length, they permitted the chest to pass without any examination. Upon this, she formed her project for her husband's release.

She began to carry it into execution by cultivating an intimacy with the wife of the commandant of Gorcum. To her, she lamented Grotius's immoderate application to study; she informed her that it had made him seriously ill; and that, in consequence of his illness, she had resolved to take all his books from him, and restore them to their owners. She circulated every where the account of his illness, and finally declared that it had confined him to his bed.

[Sidenote: CHAP. VII. 1618—1621.]

In the mean time, the chest was accommodated to her purpose; and particularly, some holes were bored in it, to let in air. Her maid and the valet of Grotius were entrusted with the secret. The chest was conveyed to Grotius's apartment. She then revealed her project to him, and, after much entreaty, prevailed on him to get into the chest, and leave her in the prison.

The books, which Grotius borrowed, were usually sent to Gorcum; and the chest, which contained them, passed in a boat, from the prison at Louvestein, to that town.

[Sidenote: His Escape from Prison.]

Big with the fate of Grotius, the chest, as soon as he was enclosed in it, was moved into the boat. One of the soldiers, observing that it was uncommonly heavy, insisted on its being opened, and its contents examined; but, by the address of the maid, his scruples were removed, and the chest was lodged in the boat. The passage from Louvestein to Gorcum took a considerable time. The length of the chest did not exceed three feet and a half. At length, it reached Gorcum: it was intended that it should be deposited at the house of David Bazelaer, an Arminian friend of Grotius, who resided at Gorcum. But, when the boat reached the shore, a difficulty arose, how the chest was to be conveyed from the spot, upon which it was to be landed, to Bazelaer's house. This difficulty was removed by the maid's presence of mind; she told the bystanders, that the chest contained glass, and that it must be moved with particular care. Two chairmen were soon found, and they carefully moved it on a horse-chair to the appointed place.

Bazelaer sent away his servants on different errands, opened the chest, and received his friend with open arms. Grotius declared, that while he was in the chest, he had felt much anxiety, but had suffered no other inconvenience. Having dressed himself as a mason, with a rule and trowel, he went, through the back door of Bazelaer's house, accompanied by his maid, along the market-place, to a boat engaged for the purpose. It conveyed them to Vervie in Brabant: there, he was safe. His maid then left him, and, returning to his wife, communicated to her the agreeable information of the success of the enterprise.

[Sidenote: Chap. VII. 1618-1621.]

As soon as Grotius's wife ascertained that he was in perfect safety, she informed the guards of his escape: these communicated the intelligence to the governor. He put her into close confinement; but in a few days, an order of the States General set her at liberty, and permitted her to carry with her every thing at Louvestein, which belonged to her. It is impossible to think without pleasure of the meeting of Grotius and his heroic wife. From Vervie he proceeded to Antwerp; a few days after his arrival in that city, he addressed a letter to the States General: he assured them, that, in procuring his liberty, he had used neither violence nor corruption. He solemnly protested that his public conduct had been blameless, and that the persecution he had suffered would never lessen his attachment to his country.

[Sidenote: His Escape from Prison.]

It was on the 22d March 1621, that Grotius obtained his liberty. In the same year, the truce, concluded for twelve years between Spain and the United Provinces expired: it was expected, that the war would be resumed with more fury than ever. But this did not happen; the war of thirty years, which we shall afterwards have occasion to mention, had mixed the contest between Spain and the United Provinces with the general military plans and operations of the parties engaged in it, and had carried much of the conflict from the Low Countries into Germany. Prince Maurice still appeared at the head of the army of the United Provinces; but he had lost, by his persecution of the Arminians, and his selfish intrigues, the confidence of the people. Conspiracies against his life were formed: fortune no longer favoured his arms. His attempts to compel the Marquis Spinola to raise the siege of Breda were unsuccessful. This reverse of fortune preyed upon his mind. He thought himself haunted by a spectre of Barneveldt: he was frequently heard, during his last illness, to exclaim, "Remove this head from me!" "This anecdote," says the author of the Resume de l'histoire de la Hollande, "is related by all the republican historians of the United Provinces; it is concealed by the flatterers of the House of Orange.... To relate the remorse of princes for their crimes, is one of the most useful duties of historians."

Prince Maurice died in 1625.

M. Le Clerc, in the 2d volume of the Bibliotheque Choisee, art. 3, shews, by unquestionable facts and irresistible arguments, that both Prince William and Prince Maurice sought to obtain the independent sovereignty of the United Provinces. It was the aim of all their successors: it has been effected in our times by means, which certainly were foreseen by none.



CHAPTER VIII.

VORSTIUS,—JAMES I.

1622.

We must now carry back our readers to events which preceded the Synod of Dort. We have mentioned the decease of Arminius: soon after it, a circumstance took place, which, to the exquisite delight of the monarch, who, at that time filled the British throne, involved him in the theological disputes of the Belgic theologians.

Not long after the commencement of the Reformation, several bold inquirers began to deny the trinity of persons in the Deity, the divine authority of the Old and New Testament, and the existence of mystery in the Christian dispensation. Both Catholics and Protestants united against them. To avoid their hostilities, the maintainers of these opinions fled to Poland, and, forming themselves into a distinct congregation, published, in 1574, their First Catechism. They established congregations at Cracow, Lubin, Pinczow, Luck and Smila: but their most flourishing settlement was at Racow.

[Sidenote: Vorstius—James I.]

They spread their doctrines over each bank of the Danube, and at length penetrated Italy. There, they were adopted by Loelius Socinus. After many peregrinations in different parts of Europe, he finally settled at Zurich. Faustus Socinus, his nephew, inherited his sentiments; and, on this account, was obliged to quit Zurich. After many wanderings, he fixed his residence at Racow. There, he was received with open arms by the new communion, and completed their system of theology. From him, they derived their appellation of SOCINIANS. Their doctrine is expressed in the Racovian catechism, published, in the Polish language, in 1605. Other editions of it have appeared. An English translation of the edition of 1605, was published at Amsterdam in 1652: Dr. Toulmin, in his Life of Socinus, ascribes it, seemingly by conjecture, to Mr. John Biddle. In 1818, Mr. Rees published a new translation of it, prefixing to it an interesting historical preface.

[Sidenote: CHAP. VIII. 1622.]

Among the disciples of Arminius, was the celebrated CONRADE VORSTIUS, born at Cologne in 1569, of parents in reduced circumstances: he was soon remarked for his diligence and irreproachable conduct; and was, in 1605, appointed to a professor's chair at Steinfurth. In 1610, he quitted it, and was named to succeed Arminius, in the chair of Professor of Theology, at Leyden. "He was beloved and honoured," says Mr. Chalmers, "at Steinfurth; there, he enjoyed the utmost tranquillity, and was in the highest reputation; he doubtless foresaw, that in the state in which the controversies of Arminius and Gomarus were at that time, he should meet with great opposition in Holland. But he was tempted by the glory he should gain by supporting a party, which was weakened by Arminius's death."

[Sidenote: Vorstius—James I.]

He had previously published his Treatise "de Deo." Some passages in it were thought to favour the doctrine of Arminius; some, to lead to Socinianism; and some, to have an ulterior tendency. That Arminius himself discovers these views in his writings, has been frequently asserted. Doctor Maclaine, the learned translator of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History,[033] observes it to be a common opinion, that "the disciples of Arminius, and more especially Episcopius, had boldly transgressed the bounds, that had been wisely prescribed by their master, and had gone ever to the Pelagians, and even to the Socinians." "Such," continues Dr. Maclaine, "is the opinion commonly entertained upon this matter. But it appears on the contrary evident to me, that Arminius himself had laid the plan of the theological system, that was, in after times embraced by his followers; that he had instilled the principles of it into the minds of his disciples; and that these latter did really no more than bring this plan to a greater degree of perfection, and propagate with more courage and perspicuity the doctrines it contains." To prove this assertion, the Doctor cites a passage from the Will of Arminius, in which he declares, that "his view in all his theological and ministerial labours, was to unite in one community, cemented by the bonds of fraternal charity, all sects and denominations of Christians, the papists excepted." "These words, on this account," continues Dr. Maclaine, "coincide perfectly with the modern system of Arminianism, which extends the limits of the christian church, and relaxes the bonds of fraternal communion in such a manner, that Christians of all sects and all denominations, whatever their sects and opinions may be, (Papists excepted) may be formed into one religious body, and live together in brotherly love and concord." It is not surprising that in the state of religious effervescence, in which the minds of men were at the time of which we are now speaking, a suspicion that Vorstius entertained the sentiments we have mentioned, or sentiments nearly approaching to them, should have rendered him a subject of jealousy. So greatly was this the case, that the Contra-remonstrants appealed against his doctrines to several Protestant states, and represented to them the doctrine of Vorstius in the most odious light. Our James I. accepted the appeal: by a royal proclamation, he caused Vorstius's Treatise de Deo to be burnt in London, and each of the English Universities. He drew up a list, of the several heresies, which he had discovered in it, commanded his resident at the Hague to notify them to the States; to express his horror of them, and his detestation of those, who should tolerate them.

[Sidenote: CHAP. VIII. 1622.]

[Sidenote: Vorstius.—James I.]

With some intimation of their independence, the States replied, that "the case was of their cognizance;" that "they would examine it;" and that, "if it should appear that Vorstius maintained the doctrines imputed to him, they would not suffer him to live among them." The monarch's orthodoxy was not satisfied with this answer. He repeated his suggestions, that the States should proceed against Vorstius; and hinted, that if the doctrines should be proved against him, and if he should persist in them, burning might be a proper punishment for him. The monarch added that, if the States did not use their utmost endeavours to extirpate the rising heresy, he should publicly protest against their conduct; that, in quality of defender of the faith, he would exhort all Protestant churches to join in one general resolution to extinguish the abomination, and would, as sovereign of his own dominions, prohibit his subjects to frequent so pestilential a place as the University of Leyden. To his menaces he added the terrors of his pen, and published a "Confutation of Vorstius."

By the advice of the States, Vorstius replied to his royal adversary in a most respectful manner; still, the royal adversary was not satisfied. Finally, the States condemned the obnoxious doctrines of Vorstius, divested him of all his offices; and sentenced him to perpetual banishment. Vorstius remained concealed during two years; then found an asylum in the dominions of the Duke of Holstein, who, as we have mentioned, took the remains of the Arminians into his protection.

Vorstius died in 1622.



CHAPTER IX.

GROTIUS AFTER HIS ESCAPE FROM PRISON, TILL HIS APPOINTMENT OF AMBASSADOR FROM SWEDEN TO THE COURT OF FRANCE.

1621-1634.

Soon after the escape of Grotius from prison, he repaired to Paris: in this, he followed the advice of Du Maurier, the French ambassador at the Hague. His works had made him known in every part of Europe, in which learning was cultivated: but persons properly qualified to appreciate their merit, existed no where in such abundance as at Paris: he was personally esteemed and regarded by the monarch; and the principal officers of state were attached to him. Paris was also recommended to him by its libraries, the easy access to them, and the habitual intercourse of the men of letters, who, during, at least, a great part of the year, made that city their place of residence.

[Sidenote: From the Escape of Grotius till his appointment of Ambassador.]

Grotius arrived at Paris on the 13th of April 1621. He was immediately noticed by a multitude of persons of distinction and rank; but it was not till March 1622, that he was presented to the king. His majesty received him graciously, and settled upon him a pension of 3,000 livres. The Prince of Conde, the Chancellor, and the Keeper of the Seals, had exerted themselves to dispose the king in his favour. His majesty professed kindness towards those, who had been persecuted by the States; and issued an edict, dated the 22d April 1622, by which he took them under his protection, in the same manner as if they were his own subjects; he even extended this benefit to their children. The celebrated President Jeannin was one of the most active and useful of Grotius's friends; but he died soon after Grotius arrived at Paris.

Grotius, during his stay in that city, attended frequently the courts of justice. He observed the wretched style of oratory, which at that time, prevailed in them. It was, in some measure, corrected by Patru and Le Maitre; but it did not reach its best state, till the end of the reign of Lewis XIV. The rhetorical march and laboured amplifications allowed at the French bar, are offensive to English ears. Has any nation produced a more perfect style of forensic or judicial eloquence, than that of Sir William Grant? The wisdom and justice of Lord Stowell's decisions, and the admirable arguments by which he explains or illustrates them, are known and acknowledged by every Court.

[Sidenote: CHAP. IX. 1621—1634]

Grotius's love of his native country continued unabated; all his views, all his hopes, were directed thither. With these feelings he wrote his Apology. He composed it in the Dutch language, and translated it afterwards into Latin: it was published in 1622. He dedicated it to the people of Holland and West Friesland. It is divided into twenty chapters; in the first, he argues the important point, that each of the United Provinces is sovereign and independent of the States General, and that the authority of these is confined to the defence of the provinces against their enemies. In the second chapter, he applies the position to ecclesiastical concerns; these, he says, are subject to the sovereign power of each State. In the following chapters, he descends into the particular charges against him; defending himself against all the crimes and irregularities of which he was accused, and shewing the informality of the judicial proceedings by which he and his companions in misfortune were tried and condemned.

[Sidenote: From the Escape of Grotius till his appointment of Ambassador.]

His answer was universally read and approved: It greatly incensed the States General: They proscribed it, and forbade all persons to have it in their possession, under pain of death; but no answer to it was published. The edict made Grotius and his friends entertain apprehensions for his personal safety. On this account, he obtained from the French monarch letters of naturalization, dated the 26th February 1623: By these, his majesty took him under his special protection.

Grotius retained many friends in every part of the United Provinces: Prince Frederick Henry, the brother of Maurice, was among them. He had never entered into his brother's persecuting projects.

"The Count d'Estrades has given us," says Burigni, "some anecdotes on this subject, which we shall relate on his authority. He assures us, that, being one day tete a tete with Prince Henry Frederick in his coach, he heard him say, that he had much to do to keep well with his brother Maurice, who suspected him of secretly favouring Barneveldt and the Arminians. He told me, (these were the Count's own words), it was true that he kept a correspondence with them, to prevent their opposing his election, in case his brother should die; but that, as it imported him to be on good terms with his brother, and to efface the notion he had of his connection with the Arminians, he made use of Vandenuse, one of his particular friends, and Barneveldt's son-in-law, to let the cabal know, that it was necessary for him to accommodate himself to his brother, that he might be better able to serve them,—which Barneveldt approved of."

[Sidenote: CHAP. IX. 1621—1634.]

In the meantime, the situation of Grotius at Paris, became very uncomfortable. His resources, and those of his wife, were small; and his pension was paid irregularly. Cardinal de Richelieu wished to attach Grotius; but required from him an absolute and unqualified devotion to him, which was utterly irreconcileable with the slightest degree of honourable independence. Grotius therefore declined the offers of the Cardinal. From this time, the Cardinal regarded him with an evil eye, and often made him feel the effects of his displeasure.

This rendered Grotius desirous of quitting France. Trusting to some protestations of friendship, which he had received from Prince Frederick; to his numerous friends, to his claims upon the gratitude of the States of Holland, to his feelings of innocence, and to the effect produced, as he flattered himself, by his Apology, he ventured into Holland in 1631. But he met with no countenance: and in that year was banished a second time. Upon this, he formally bade a final adieu to Holland, and determined to seek his fortune elsewhere: He then fixed his residence at Hamburgh.

[Sidenote: From the Escape of Grotius till his appointment of Ambassador.]

He sought to preserve his friends in France; but announced to them his intention to receive no more money from the French government.

"I shall always," he said in a letter to the First President of the Cour des Monnoies, "be grateful for the King's liberality; but it is enough that I was chargeable to you, while I resided in France. I have never done you any service, though I made you an offer of myself. But it would not be proper that I should now live, like an hornet, on the goods of other men. I shall not, however, forget the kindness of so great a king, and the good offices of so many friends."

[Sidenote: CHAP. IX. 1621-1634.]

It may appear surprising that Prince Frederick of Orange should pertinaciously exclude Grotius from his native country. But ambition listens to nothing that conflicts with its own views. Prince Frederick inherited from his father and brother the wish of becoming the sovereign of the United Provinces. To this, he knew he should always find a zealous and able opponent in Grotius: hence, notwithstanding his great personal regard for Grotius, he always kept him a banished man. Grotius wished to be employed by the Government of England, and Archbishop Laud was sounded upon this subject; but the application was coldly received[034]. Prince Frederick sustained, both in military and civil concerns, the character of the former princes of his family. Under his administration, the affairs of the republic prospered at sea and land. Peter Haim captured the Spanish flotilla, estimated at twelve millions of florins. The Prince took Bois-le duc, Maestricht, and Breda, and reduced the Dutchy of Limburgh. Under his auspices, the celebrated Van Tromp commenced his career of naval glory, by obtaining a complete victory over the Spanish fleet, consisting of seventy men of war. Prince Frederick died in 1658.

From the close of his Stadtholderate, we may date the origin of the jealousy entertained, by France and England, of the rising power of the United Provinces. It is to be observed that Prince Frederick was Stadtholder only of the Provinces of Holland, Zealand, Utrecht, Gueldres and Overyssell: Count Ernest Casimir of Nassau was Stadtholder of the provinces of Groeningen, Frizeland, and the county of the Drenta. In 1631, their eldest sons were chosen, in the lifetime of their fathers, their successors in their respective Stadtholderates. This was a great step towards making the Stadtholderate hereditary in their families,—one of the leading objects of their ambitious views.



CHAPTER X.

SOME OF THE PRINCIPAL WORKS OF GROTIUS.

1. His Edition of Stobaeus.

2. His Treatise de Jure Belli et Pacis.

3. His Treatise de Veritate Religionis Christianae.

4. His Treatise de Jure summarum potestatum circa sacra.

5. His Commentary on the Scriptures.

6. Some other Works of Grotius

[Sidenote: CHAP. X. 1621-1634]

That literature is an ornament in prosperity, and a comfort in adverse fortune, has been often said by the best and wisest men; but no one experienced the truth of this assertion in a higher degree than Grotius, during his imprisonment at Louvestein. In that wreck of his fortune and overthrow of all his hopes, books came to his aid, soothed his sorrows, and beguiled the wearisome hours of his gloomy solitude. His studies often stole him from himself, and from the sense of his misfortunes. In the exercise of his mental energies, he was sensible of their powers; and it was impossible that he should contemplate, without pleasure, the extent, the worth, or the splendour of his labours; the services, which he rendered by them to learning and religion, and the admiration and gratitude of the scholar, which he then enjoyed, and which would attend his memory to the latest posterity. He himself acknowledged that, in the ardour of his literary pursuits, he often forgot his calamities, and that the hours passed unheeded, if not in joy, at least without pain.



X 1.

His Edition of Stobaeus.

Being ourselves unacquainted with this work, we cannot do better than present our readers with the account given of it by Burigni.

"The year after the publication of his Apology, that is to say in 1623, Nicholas Huon printed at Paris, Grotius's improvements and additions to Stobaeus. This author, as is well known, extracted what he thought most important in the ancient Greek writers, and ranged it under different heads, comprehending the principal points of philosophy. His work is the more valuable, as it has preserved several fragments of the Ancients, found no where else. Grotius, when very young, purposed to extract from this author all the maxims of the poets; to translate them into Latin verse, and to print the original with the translation. He began this, when a boy; he was employed in it at the time of his arrest; and continued it as an amusement, whilst he had the use of books, in his prison at the Hague. He tells us that, when he was deprived of pen and ink, he was got to the forty-ninth title, which is an invective against tyranny, that had a great relation to what passed at that time in Holland. On his removal to Louvestein, he resumed this work, and finished it at Paris. He made several happy corrections in the text of Stobaeus; some, from his own conjectures or those of his friends; others, on the authority of manuscripts in the King's library, which were politely lent him by the learned Nicholas Rigaut, librarian to his majesty.

[Sidenote: His edition of Stobaeus.]

[Sidenote: CHAP. X. 1621-1634]

"Prefixed to this book, are Prolegomena, in which the author shews that the works of the ancient Pagans are filled with maxims agreeable to the truths taught in holy writ. He intended to dedicate this book to the Chancellor Silleri: he had even writ the dedication, but his friends, to whom he shewed it, thought he expressed himself with too much warmth, against the censurers of his Apology. They advised him therefore to suppress it; and he yielded to their opinion. It may be observed in reading the royal privilege, that the present title of the book is different from what it was to have had. To these extracts from the Greek poets translated into Latin verse, Grotius annexed two pieces, one of Plutarch, the other of St. Basil, on the use of the poets; giving the Greek text with a Latin translation."

The work was received with universal approbation.



X. 2.

His Treatise de Jure Belli et Pacis.

Grotius may be considered as the founder of the modern school of the Law of Nature and of Nations. He was struck with the ruthless manner, in which wars were generally conducted; the slight pretences, upon which they were generally begun; and the barbarity and injustice, with which they were generally attended. He attributed these evils to the want of settled principles respecting the rights and duties of nations and individuals in a state of war. These, he observed, must depend on the previous rights and duties of mankind, in a state of peace: this led him to the preliminary inquiry into their rights and duties in a state of nature.

Thus, an ample field was opened to him. He brought to it, a vigorous discerning mind, and stupendous erudition. From antient and modern history, philosophy, oratory, and poetry, he collected facts and sayings, which appeared to him to establish a general agreement of all civilized nations upon certain principles. From these, he formed his system; applying them, as he proceeded in his work, to a vast multitude of circumstances. These are so numerous, that some persons have not scrupled to say, that no case or international law, either in war or in peace, can be stated, to which the work of Grotius does not contain an applicable rule.

[Sidenote: X. 2. The Treatise de Jure Belli et Pacis.]

[Sidenote: CHAP. X. 1621-1634]

Three important objections have been made to this celebrated work,—one, that the author defers in it, too little, to principle, too much, to authority;—another, that the work is written in a very desultory manner, with small attention to order, or classification;—a third, that his authorities are often feeble, and sometimes whimsical. "Grotius," says Condillac, "was able to think for himself; but he constantly labours to support his conclusions by the authority of others. Upon many occasions; even in support of the most obvious and indisputable propositions, he introduces a long string of quotations from the Mosaic law, from the Gospels, from the fathers of the church, from the casuists, and not unfrequently, even in the very same paragraph, from Ovid, and Aristophanes." This strange mixture is subject of many witticisms of Voltaire. But let us hear what is urged in the defence of Grotius, by a gentleman, of whose praise the ablest of writers may be proud:

"Few writers," says Sir James Mackintosh, in his Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations, "were more celebrated than Grotius in his own days, and in the age which succeeded. It has, however, been the fashion of the last half century to depreciate his work, as a shapeless compilation, in which reason lies buried under a mass of authorities and quotations. This fashion originated among French wits and declaimers, and it has been, I know not for what reason, adopted, though with far greater moderation and decency, by some respectable writers among ourselves. As to those, who first used this language, the most candid supposition that we can make with respect to them is, that they never read the work; for, if they had not been deterred from the perusal of it by such a formidable display of Greek characters, they must soon have discovered that Grotius never quotes, on any subject, till he has first appealed to some principles; and often, in my humble opinion, though, not always, to the soundest and most rational principles.

[Sidenote: His treatise de Jure Belli et Pacis.]

"But another sort of answer is due to some of those, who have criticised Grotius; and that answer might be given in the words of Grotius himself. He was not of such a stupid and servile cast of mind as to quote the opinions of poets or orators, of historians and philosophers, as those of judges, from whose decision there was no appeal. He quotes them, as he tells us himself, as witnesses, whose conspiring testimony, mightily strengthened and confirmed by their discordance on almost every other subject, is a conclusive proof of the unanimity of the whole human race on the great rules of duty, and the fundamental principles of morals. Of such matters, poets and orators are the most unexceptionable of all witnesses; for they address themselves to the general feelings and sympathies of mankind; they are neither warped by system, nor perverted by sophistry; they can attain none of their objects; they can neither please nor persuade, if they dwell on moral sentiments not in unison with those of their readers. No system of moral philosophy can surely disregard the general feelings of human nature, and the according judgment of all ages and nations. But, where are these feelings and that judgment recorded and preserved? In those very writings which Grotius is gravely blamed for having quoted. The usages and law of nations, the events of history, the opinions of philosophers, the sentiments of orators and poets, as well as the observation of common life, are, in truth, the materials out of which the science of morality is formed; and those who neglect them, are justly chargeable with a vain attempt to philosophise without regard to fact and experience, the sole foundation of all true philosophy.

[Sidenote: Chap. X. 1621-1634]

"If this were merely an objection of taste, I should be willing to allow, that Grotius has indeed poured forth his learning with a profusion, that sometimes rather encumbers than adorns his work, and which is not always necessary to the illustration of his subject. Yet, even in making, that concession, I should rather yield to the tastes of others, than speak from my own feelings. I own that such richness and splendour of literature have a powerful charm for me. They fill my mind with an endless variety of delightful recollections and associations. They relieve the understanding in its progress through a vast science, by calling up the memory of great men and of interesting events. By this means we see the truths of morality clothed with all the eloquence (not that could be produced by the powers of one man, but) that could be bestowed on them by the collective genius of the world. Even virtue and wisdom themselves acquire new majesty in my eyes, when I thus see all the great masters of thinking and writing called together, as it were, from all times and countries, to do them homage and to appear in their train.

[Sidenote: X. 2. His Treatise de Jure Belli et Pacis]

"But this is no piece for discussions of taste, and I am very ready to own, that mine may be corrupted. The work of Grotius is liable to a more serious objection, though I do not recollect that it has ever been made. His method is inconvenient and unscientific. He has inverted the natural order. That natural order undoubtedly dictates, that we should first search for the original principles of the science, in human nature; then apply them to the regulation of the conduct of individuals; and lastly employ them for the decision of those difficult and complicated questions that arise with respect to the intercourse of nations. But Grotius has chosen the reverse of this method. He begins with the consideration of the states of peace and war, and he examines original principles, only occasionally and incidentally, as they grow out of the questions, which he is called upon to decide. It is a necessary consequence of this disorderly method, which exhibits the elements of the science in the form of scattered digressions, that he seldom employs sufficient discussion on those fundamental truths, and never in the place where such a discussion would be most instructive to the reader. This defect in the plan of Grotius was perceived, and supplied by Puffendorf, who restored natural law to that superiority which belonged to it, and with great propriety, treated the law of nations as only one main branch of the parent stock."

[Sidenote: CHAP X. 1621-1634]

Whatever may be the merit of the work of which we are speaking, it must be admitted, that few, on their first appearance, and during a long subsequent period after publication, have received greater or warmer applause. The stores of erudition displayed in it, recommended it to the classical scholar, while the happy application of the author's reading to the affairs of human life, drew to it the attention of common readers. Among those, whose approbation of it, deserved to be recorded, Gustavus Adolphus,—his prime minister the Chancellor Oxenstiern,—and the Elector Palatine Charles Lewis, deserve particular mention.[035] As the trophies of Miltiades are supposed to have kept Themistocles awake, it has been said that the trophies of Grotius drove sleep from Selden, till be produced his celebrated treatise, "De Jure naturali et gentium secundum leges Ebraeorim." This important work equals that of Grotius in learning; but, from the partial and recondite nature of its subject, never equalled it in popularity.

[Sidenote: X. 9. His Treatise de Jure Belli et Pacis]

The supposed want of general elementary principles in the work of Grotius gave occasion to Puffendorf's treatise de Jure Naturae et Gentium; afterwards abridged by him into the small octavo volume De Officio hominis et civis: an edition of it in octavo was published by Professor Garschen Carmichael, of Glasgow, in 1724.

The best edition of Grotius's treatise de Jure Belli et Pacis was published at Amsterdam in 1730, by John Barbeyrac.

Foreigners observe, that the study of the law of nature and nations is less cultivated in England than upon the continent. Is it not, because Englishmen are blessed with a free constitution; are admitted into a general participation of all its blessings; are thus personally interested in the national concerns; and have therefore a jurisprudence, which comes nearer to their bosoms? Is it not also, because the law of nature and nations, with all its merit, is so loose, that its principles seldom admit of that practical application, which renders them really useful; and which an English mind always requires?



X.3.

De Veritate Religionis Christianae.

[Sidenote: CHAP. X. 1621-1634.]

Grotius, while a prisoner in the Castle of Louvestein, had written, in the Dutch language, "A treatise on the Truth of the Christian Religion." He afterwards enlarged it, and translated it, so enlarged, into Latin. It was universally read and admired. French, German, English, modern Greek, Persic, and even Turkish versions of it have been made: it was equally approved by Catholics and Protestants.

[Sidenote: De Veritate Religionis Christianae.]

It was invidiously objected, that he did not attempt to prove, or even mention, the Trinity, and some other gospel mysteries: he replied, satisfactorily in our opinion, that a discussion of any particular tenet of the Christian religion did not fall within the scope of his work. In this respect, he was afterwards imitated by Abadie and Houteville, two of the most eminent apologists of Christianity. The latter expresses himself of the work of Grotius in the following terms:

"Grotius's work is the first, in which we find the characteristics of just reasoning, accuracy, and strength: he is extremely concise; but even this brevity will please us, when we find his work comprehends so many things, without confounding them or lessening their evidence or force. It is no wonder that the book should be translated into so many languages."

The best edition of it is that published by Le Clerc,[036] in 1709 at Amsterdam, in 8vo. To this edition, Le Clerc has added a curious dissertation on religious indifference. He presumes that the supposed indifference is persuaded of the authenticity of the New Testament:—He then (says Le Clerc) must ascertain,—

1. Which are the denominations of religionists which avow their belief of it:

2. Which of these are most worthy of the name of Christians:

3. And which profess the Christian religion in most purity and with least extraneous alloy:

4. He will find, that all Christians agree in the fundamental articles of faith:

5. That all these articles are clearly expressed in the New Testament:

6. That no tenet should be believed to be of faith, unless the New Testament contains it.

7. That the providence of God is admirable in the preservation of these tenets, amidst the confused multitude of religious opinions, which have prevailed in the world:

8. That this confusion was foreseen by God:

9. That he permitted it as a consequence of his gift of free-will to man:

10. That the inquirer should aggregate himself to that religious communion, which receives the New Testament as its only rule of faith, and does not persecute others:

11. That episcopacy without tyranny is the most antient form of ecclesiastical government, and most to be desired; but that it is not essential to a Christian church:

12. That these were the opinions of Grotius:

13. Finally, that it is greatly to be desired that a belief of no dogma, not explicitly propounded in the New Testament, should be required.

Such is the religious system propounded by Le Clerc.—Does any religious communion really profess it?—Many Protestant churches declare, that the Bible, and the Bible only, contains their creed: but, do they not all mean by this—the Bible, as it is explained by the Articles, the Formulary, or the Confession received by their church?



X. 4.

Grotius's Treatise De Jure summarum potestatum circa sacra.—And, Commentatio ad loca quaedam Novi Testamenti, quae de Antichristo agunt, aut agere putantur.

Nothing in the life of Grotius places him in a more amiable or respectable point of view, than his constant attempts to put Catholics and Protestants into good humour with each other, and to put both into good humour among themselves.

[Sidenote: X. 4. His Treatise De Jure summarum potestatum. &c.]

We have mentioned the pacific decree of the States of Holland, which ordered the contending communions to tolerate each other. Grotius is supposed to have framed this wise decree. The Contra-remonstrants attacked it: Grotius reprinted it, with a collection of proofs and authorities.

It gave rise to a controversy on the nice question, respecting the authority of the temporal power to interfere in the ecclesiastical concerns of the state. Grotius adopted, upon this point, the sentiments of what is termed in England the Low Church: he seems to have pushed them to their utmost bearings. With these sentiments, he published his treatise de Imperio summarum potestatum circa sacra. It was disliked by King James and his bishops: Grotius, in their opinion, gave too much authority, in sacred things, to the secular power.

On the work of Grotius, respecting Anti-christ, we prefer transcribing Burigni's sentiments to delivering our own.

"This deep study of the Holy Scriptures led Grotius to examine a question, which made much noise at that time. Some Protestant synods had ventured to decide that the Pope was Antichrist; and this extravagance, gravely delivered by the ministers, was regarded by the zealous schismatics, as a fundamental truth. Grotius undertook to overturn such an absurd opinion, that stirred up an irreconcileable enmity between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants; and, of consequence, was a very great obstacle to their re-union, which was the sole object of his desires. He entered therefore upon the consideration of the passages of Scripture relating to Antichrist, and employed his Sundays in it.

[Sidenote: CHAP. X. 1621-1634.]

"It was this work, that raised him up most enemies. We see by the letters he wrote to his brother, that his best friends were afraid lest they should be suspected of having some hand in the publication of the books, in which he treated of Antichrist. 'If you are afraid of incurring ill will, (he writes thus to his brother), you may easily find people that are far from a factious spirit, who will take care of the impression. Nothing has incensed princes against those, who separated from the church of Rome, more than the injurious names, with which the Protestants load their adversaries; and nothing is a greater hindrance to that re-union, which we are all obliged to labour after, in consequence of Christ's precept and the profession we make of our faith in the creed. Perhaps the Turk, who threatens Italy, will force us to it. In order to arrive at it, we must first remove whatever obstructs a mutual quiet hearing. I hope I shall find assistance in this pious design. I shall not cease to labour in it, and shall rejoice to die employed in so good a work.'

[Sidenote: His Treatise De Jure summarum potestatum, &c.]

"Reigersberg, Blaeu, Vossius himself, however much devoted to Grotius, beheld with concern the printing of this book, because they did not doubt but it would increase the number of his enemies. Grotius informs his brother, of the uneasiness which Vossius gave him on this subject. 'Among those, who wish this work destroyed,' says he, 'I am astonished and grieved to see Vossius. Whence could he have this idea? I imagine somebody has told him, that it would injure the fortune of his children, if he approved of such books; and that, on the contrary, he would find favour by hurting me. We must therefore have recourse to Corcellius or Corvinus.' He elsewhere complains of the too great timidity of this old friend, who at bottom approved of Grotius's sentiments, but durst not own them publicly, because he was not so independent as Grotius.

[Sidenote: CHAP. X. 1621-1634.]

"The treatise on Anti-christ made much noise among all the declared enemies of the Romish church. Michael Gettichius wrote to Ruarus, that he had only glanced over Grotius's book on Antichrist; but as far as he could judge by the first reading, that learned man, who was possessed of such an excellent genius, and such singular erudition, had no other intention than to engage the learned in a further inquiry concerning Antichrist; and to determine them to attack with greater strength, the Romish Antichrist; or, if he wrote seriously, he wanted to cut out a path for going over, without dishonour, to the Papists. Ruarus answers this letter Dec. 16, 1642, from Dantzic. 'I have always (he says) looked on Grotius as a very honest and at the same time a very learned man. I am persuaded that love of peace engaged him in this work. I don't deny but he has gone too far; the love of antiquity perhaps seduced him: no Remonstrant, that I know of, has as yet answered him; but he has been confuted by some learned Calvinists, particularly Desmonets, minister of Bois le duc, who has written against him with much bitterness.'

"Grotius's work was printed in 1640, with this title: Commentatio ad loca quaedam Novi Testamenti, quae de Antichristo agunt aut agere putantur:—Expedenda eruditis."[037]



X.5.

His Commentary on the Scriptures.

[Sidenote: X. 5. His Commentary on the Scriptures.]

The theological works of Grotius are comprised in four volumes folio: the three first contain his Commentary, and Notes upon the Scriptures. On their merit, both Catholics and Protestants considerably differ. All allow that an abundance of sacred and profane learning is displayed in them; and that Grotius, by his references to the writings of the Rabbis, and his remarks upon the idiom of the sacred writings, has happily elucidated a multitude of passages in the text. He uniformly adopts the literal and obvious signification of the language used by the holy penmen. In explaining the predictions of the prophets, he maintains that they referred to events anterior to the coming of Christ, and were accomplished in these; so that the natural and obvious sense of the words and phrases, in which they were delivered, does not terminate in Christ; yet, that in some of the predictions, those particularly, which the writers of the New Testament apply to Christ, there is, besides the literal and obvious signification, a hidden and mysterious sense, which lies concealed under the external mark of certain persons, certain events, and certain actions, which are representative of the person, the ministry, the sufferings, and the merits of the Son of God.

[Sidenote: CHAP. X. 1621-1634.]

It has been objected, that this system leads to Socinianism, and even beyond it. All Catholic, and several episcopalian Protestant divines object to it; they generally contend, that the sacred writings ought always to be understood in that sense only, which has been attributed to them, by the early fathers.—Against this system, Dr. Whitby published his celebrated work "Concerning the Interpretation of Scripture after the manner of the Fathers."[038]

[Sidenote: X. 5. His Commentary on the Scriptures.]

The system of Grotius was defended, to a certain extent, by Father Simon, the oratorian, the father of the modern biblical school. Against both Simon and Grotius, Bossuet wielded his powerful lance,—in his "Pastoral Instruction on the Works of Father Simon," and his "Dissertations upon Grotius." In these works he says that, during thirty years,

"Grotius searched for truth in good faith, and at last was so near it, that it is wonderful that he did not take the last step, to which God called him. Shocked at Calvin's harsh doctrines, he embraced Arminianism; then, abandoned it. More a lawyer than a theologian, more a polite scholar than a philosopher, he throws the doctrine of the immortality of the soul into obscurity. He endeavours to weaken and steal from the church, her most powerful proofs of the divinity of the Son of God, and strives to darken the prophecies, which announce the arrival of the Messiah."

Bossuet proceeds to particularize some of the principal errors of Grotius: Le Clerc replied to the prelate's criticism, by his Sentimens de quelques Theologiens de la Hollande.—Grotius had also an able advocate in Father Simon. His defence of Grotius against the charge of semi-Pelagianism, in the Bibliotheque de Sainjore,[039] appears to be satisfactory. He cites the note of Grotius, on the Acts of the Apostles, (the celebrated ch. xiii. ver. 38), in which he says expressly that he does not exclude preventive grace: this the semi-Pelagians denied altogether. But in his defence of Grotius against the charge of Socinianism, he is not equally successful. Bossuet sent his Pastoral Instruction, and Dissertations upon Grotius, to the bishop of Frejus, afterward Cardinal de Fleury: he accompanied them by a letter, which closes with these remarkable words:

"The spirit of incredulity gains ground in the world every day: you have often heard me make this remark. It is now worse than ever, as the Gospel itself is used for the corruption of religion. I thank God that at my age he blesses me with sufficient strength to resist the torrent."

[Sidenote: CHAP. X. 1621—1634.]

Dom. Calmet[040] calls Grotius,

"one of the most able and moderate Protestant writers: one who spreads throughout his notes a pleasing profusion of profane literature, which causes his works to be sought for and read by those, who have taste for that kind of literature. His high reputation, great erudition, and rare modesty," says Dom. Calmet, "render it easy for him to insinuate his particular sentiments respecting the divinity of Christ, against which, his readers should be guarded."



X.6.

Some other Works of Grotius.

1. The first which we shall mention is his history of the Goths, Vandals, and Lombards, written in the Latin language, and accompanied by learned dissertations. He composed it, as a testimony of his gratitude to the Swedes, by doing honour to their gothic ancestors. The preface has always been admired, for its erudition and sound criticism. But the Belgic friends of Grotius accused him of elevating the Swedes at their expense.

[Sidenote: X. 6. Other Works of Grotius.]

2. A more important work consists of his Annals, and History of the United Provinces. The Annals begin with the year 1588, when Prince Maurice had the greatest influence in the affairs of the United Provinces; and concludes with the truce of twelve years, signed between them and Spain. The impartiality, with which these works are written, has been praised by every writer.

It is to be lamented that Grotius professed to imitate, both in his Annals and History, the style of Tacitus. Expressed by his own pen, the style of Tacitus is energetic, picturesque, and pleasing; but it is impossible to deny its frequent abruptness and obscurity. Generally speaking, an imitation of what is defective, contains a larger share, than the original, of its distinctive defect. It should however be added, that Grotius's own style is short, sententious and broken; and possesses nothing of the meliflous ease of the ultramontane Latinists; or of our Milton or Buchanan. None of the works of Grotius, which we have mentioned in this Article, were published till after his decease.

3. It remains to notice the Letters of Grotius, published at Amsterdam in one volume folio, in 1687.—A multitude of his unpublished letters is said to exist in different public and private libraries.

[Sidenote: CHAP. X. 1621-1634.]

His published letters are an invaluable treasure: they abound with wise maxims of sound policy, and curious discussions on points arising on Roman or Belgic jurisprudence. Many points of sacred and profane learning, and particularly of the civil and canon law, are treated in them with equal learning and taste. For the perfect understanding of them, the letters of the correspondents of Grotius should be perused: they are principally to be found, in the Praestantium et Eruditorum Virorum Epistolae Ecclesiasticae et Theologicae, published at Amsterdam in 1684. A critical account of the Letters of Grotius, executed with great taste and judgment, is inserted in the first volume of the Bibliotheque Universelle et Historique.[041]

[Sidenote: X. 6. Other Works of Grotius.]

It is acknowledged that the letters of Grotius, are written in the finest latinity, and contain much valuable information; but the point, the sprightliness, the genius, the vivid descriptions of men and things, which are so profusely scattered over the letters of Erasmus, are seldom discoverable in those of Grotius. A man of learning would have been gratified beyond measure, by the profound conversations of Grotius and Father Petau: but what a treat must it have been, to have assisted with one, two, or three good listeners, at the conversations between Erasmus and Sir Thomas More!



CHAPTER. XI.

GROTIUS.—AS AMBASSADOR FROM THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN TO THE COURT OF FRANCE.

1634—1645.

The embassy of Grotius is connected with an important period in the history of the War of Thirty years.

This celebrated war was principally caused by the religious disputes of the sixteenth century. Very soon after Luther's first attack on the See of Rome, the Reformation was established in Saxony, Livonia, Prussia, and Hesse-cassell; in many imperial towns; in Friezland and Holland; in several of the Swiss Cantons; in Pomerania, Mecklenburgh, Anhalt; Sweden, Denmark, Norway; England, and Scotland. Its progress in Germany is particularly connected with the subject of these pages.

[Sidenote: Embassy of Grotius in the Court of France.]

At the diet of Augsburgh, in 1530, the Protestant princes of Germany delivered to the emperor their Confession of Faith; they afterwards, at Smalcald, entered into an offensive and defensive league against the emperor. Being sensible that they were unable to resist him, they engaged the French monarch in their cause. At first, the emperor was victorious; but a new league was formed. France then took a more active part in favour of the confederates, and the contest ended in the peace of Passau, in 1552, there the two parties, for the first time, treated as equals, and the free exercise of the Lutheran religion was allowed. Things remained quiet during the reigns of Ferdinand the First and Maximilian the Second; but, in consequence of the disputes, which arose on the succession to the dutchies of Cleves and Juliers, the religious differences broke out with fresh animosity:—the Protestant princes formed a confederacy called the Evangelical Union, and placed, at its head, the Elector Palatine; the Catholics formed a confederacy called the Catholic League, and placed, at its head, the Duke of Bavaria. In the year 1618, they burst into open war; every state in Europe, and even the Ottoman princes, at one time or other, took a part in it. France was the soul of the Protestant cause; she assisted it with her armies, and her subsidies:—it may be truly said, that, if there be a Protestant state from the Vistula to the Rhine, or a Mahometan, state between the Danube and the Mediterranean, its existence is owing to the Bourbon monarchs. From the period of its duration, it has been called the WAR OF THIRTY YEARS: it is divided, by its Palatine, Danish, Swedish, and French periods.

[Sidenote: CHAP. XI. 1634-1645.]

1. Frederick, the fifth Elector Palatine of that name, being elected King of Bohemia, by the states of that kingdom, made war on the emperor Ferdinand the Second. Being defeated in 1620, at the battle of Prague, and abandoned by his allies, he was driven from Bohemia, and deprived of his other states.

2. Christian the Fourth of Denmark, then placed himself at the head of the confederacy against the emperor; but, having in 1626, lost the battle of Lutter, in which Tilly commanded the Austrian forces; he signed, three years after that event, a separate peace with the emperor.

In the following year, Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, was placed at the head of the confederacy. Their cause appeared desperate: Walstein, the Austrian general, had been uniformly successful, and almost the whole of Germany had submitted to the emperor: but the Austrians soon experienced a severe reverse of fortune.

[Sidenote: Embassy of Grotius to the Court of France.]

3. Lewis XIII filled at that time, the throne of France; his councils were guided by Cardinal Richelieu, one of the ablest statesmen that has appeared upon the theatre of the world. Vast, but provident in his designs; daring, but considerate in his operations; capable of the largest views and the most minute attentions; he formed three immense projects, and succeeded in all.

"When your Majesty," he thus addresses the monarch in his celebrated Testament Politique, "resolved at the same time to admit me into your councils, and to give me a great portion of your confidence, I can say with truth that the Hugonots divided the state with you; that the great, conducted themselves, as if they were not your subjects, and the governors of the provinces, as if they were the sovereigns of them; and that France was contemned by her foreign allies."

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