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Vol. xi, p. 723. Now, I should consider it a dreadful imputation on a learned man's character, were it even insinuated that this work by Fabricius was not in the possession of such a diffuse commentator on the Holy Scriptures, as Mr. Scott has been, though his notes are said (by his admirers themselves) to be more remarkable for strong sense and fertile imagination, than for the sound learning which they display. In the exact page and volume of the work to which Mosheim despatches all his readers for information about the Dutch Synod, the first article that presents itself is, “ DORDRACENÆ SYNODI Acta," of which an able literary notice is there given. * Mr. Scott's famous “ History” is the
do well to consult the Letters of the learned and worthy Mr. John Hales, of Eaton, who was an impartial spectator of the proceedings of this famous Synod, and who relates, with candour and simplicity, what he saw and heard."
• Having given a critical description of the various Councils which the Roman Catholic authors had collected, Fabricius presents the following account of the Synod of Dort :
“ It commenced on the 13th of Nov. 1618, and continued to the 9th of May, 1619. Let no one look for the Acts or Decrees of the Synod of Dort among the collectors of Councils, although they have not hesitated to insert in their volumes also many small Councils of those whom they denominate Heretics. Yet,-since, from the dignity of the subject, and from the number and authority of those by whom the business was transacted, this may possibly seem equal or superior to many Synods, and since it is even now confirmed by most of the Reformed Churches, I was unwilling to omit the mention of it. It was held, in the ninth year after the Conference at the Hague, by the Reformed Calvinians against the Arminian Remonstrants, the latter of whom complain, that it condemned them without a hearing.
“ For the publication of the Acts, the Divines chosen out of various districts of the United Provinces were, John Polyander, Anthony Walæus, Anthony Thysius, Daniel Heinsius, Festus Hommius, Daniel Colonius, and John Laets : But Dr. Wm. Bates informs us in his Life of A. Walæus, that the chief merit
of the publication is due to Festus Hommius, who was a ready and elegant * writer, and, as secretary to the Synod, had noted with greater diligence than
the others, the matters that had been transacted.'_These Acts were published at Dort in the year 1620, in folio, in the neat types of the Elzevirs at Leyden ; and were soon afterwards executed with greater correctness, in the same year, at Hanover, in quarto, with the addition of a copious index.
“ Prefixed to the Acts stand,—the Epistle of their High Mightinesses the States General, addressed to the Monarchs and Kings, to the Princes, Counts, Cities, and Magistrates, (of the Christian world], and vouching for the fidelity and authority of these Acts, and likewise the ample PREFACE of Daniel Heinsius, addressed to the Reformed Churches of Christ, concerning the origin and increase of the Dutch controversies, for the purpose of appeasing which, the Synod had been convened.
“ The Acts themselves consist of three parts : (1.) The rules for holding the Synod; the form of the Synodical oath ; decrees and judgments concerning the translation of the Bible, catechizing, candidates for the sacred ministry, and concerning the removal of the abuses of printing; the Canons against the Five Points of the Remonstrants ; the Confession of the Dutch Churches; the approbation of the Palatine Catechism; the judgment passed on the doctrine of Conrad Vorstius; a writing of the Remonstrants respecting the conditions on which the Synod ought to be held ; the Theses of the Remonstrants on the Five Points, Preface described by Fabricius, 'as the production of Daniel Heinsius, who had been lay-secretary to the Commissioners, chosen out of the States General to preside over the deliberations of the Synod. Not a word occurs in Fabricius concerning the avouched “ fidelity and authority" of this Historical Preface: Those government-attributes are properly ascribed to the Acts alone, while the ample Preface," lately extolled as such a precious morsel of authentic church-history, is awarded to its final reviser and polisher, Daniel Heinsius. Had Mr. Scott consulted the article in Fabricius to which Mosheim referred him, he would have found a list of ten Calvinistic publications in support of the Synod, and fifteen against it; some of the former of which were more worthy of being translated, than the universally-neglected document which Mr. Scott has, unfortunately for himself, chosen for the exercise of his powers.
2.-Had he consulted that article, he would not have committed the strange mistake into which he has fallen in the 112th page of his performance. He has there informed his readers of his former state of ignorance concerning “the real Articles of the Synod,” and that his “ literal translation of them” was made from a copy “ contained in the Sylloge Confessionum, OXFORD, 1804.”—He has afforded many proofs, beside this, of his knowing very little about the contents of the bulky volume, “ the Historical Preface” to which he has so painfully tried to explain. In the Account of his Life, which has been lately presented to the world by his son John, and which is highly creditable to his talents and filial affection, it is said, “ The translation [of the Historical Preface] is made from “ the Acts of the Synod, published by authority, in a Latin quarto “ volume.” That is the edition which, according to Fabricius, and as every learned man knows, contains an index, accurately denoting the very page in which those Articles might be found. Unfortunately, however, they are there denominated “ The Canons of the Synod concerning the Five Points of the Remonstrants ;” and as Mr. Scott does not seem to have been aware, that they are indiscriminately (and in some respects improperly) designated by even good writers Canons, Decrees, Articles, (Sententia,] Sentiments, and Judgment, he could find no mention of ARTICLES in the original work, but was compelled to look for them in the Sylloge Confessionum, in which they offered themselves to his perusal under the more intelligible and familiar title of Sententia.
and the various exceptions and protestations against the Synod ; a writing by Simon Episcopius, in which he defends himself; the confession of the two brothers Geisteeren ; and, lastly, the orations of those very celebrated men, Balthasar Lydius, Martin Gregory, Joseph Hall, John Polyander, John Acronius, and of the mea morable Episcopius.—(2.) The Judgments of the Foreign Divines on the Five Points of the Remonstrants. (3.) 'The Judgments of the Dutch Divines on the same Points."
A similar instance of his “ woeful lack of information” respecto ing the volume in his possession, a part of which he too hastily undertook to elucidate, may be seen in one of his notes, in which he says: - The Five Articles of the Remon“strants, so often mentioned in this History, do not occur sepa
rately and all together in the authenticated documents of which “ I make use; but, comparing the detached accounts of them “and the arguments used in the Synod of Dort concerning them,
with the following statement from Mosheim, (Vol. v, pp. 444 "-5,) the latter appears sufficiently accurate for our present "purpose;" He then quotes the abridgment from Mosheim. On the interpretation which the reader will give to Mr. Scott's two opposite terms “separately and all together," I do not pretend to offer even a conjecture ; but the Tenets of the Remonstrants occur in the copy of the Acts “ of which Mr. Scott made use, separately, under each of the days in which they were presented, and in substance the same as those which Bishop Womack has translated and ably corroborated in the subsequent pages of this volume (93—150). Were modern Arminians as testy and querulous as Mr. Scott and Mr. Baxter have been, on reading this abridgment they might retort some of the elegant phraseology of these two good yet irritable and prejudiced men, about " bearing false witness against their neighbours, "&c. But Christian courtesy forbids such a course ; and though the materials for a better account of the sentiments of the Arminians were actually in Mr. Scott's posşession, at the time when he published this scanty exposition of Arminianism, they would not adopt the language which he employs, in page 121, “I own, I never before met with so gross, so barefaced, “ and inexcusable a misrepresentation as this, in all my studies “ of modern controversy. It can only be equalled by the false “ testimony borne against Jesus and his Apostles, as recorded in « Holy Writ. But is that cause likely to be in itself good, which “ needs to be supported by so unhallowed weapons ?” – I refer the reader, for further information on this subject, to the Works of Arminius, vol. i, p. 510. Bishop Womack's celebrated book, THE Calvinists' CABINET UNLOCKED, written for the purpose of shewing Richard Baxter, that the Abridgment of the Calvinistic Articles of the Synod of Dort, which the Bishop has inserted in the 39th page of the Examinalion of Tilenus, was virtually correct; and all impartial men, who examine the Bishop's authorities, will not charge him with want of success in that enterprize.
3.-But the most wonderful part of Mr. Scott's argumentation remains yet to be examined. In proof of “ the probability that neither Mosheim, nor his translator Maclaine had seen this His. tory,” Mr. Scott adduces this singular reason: “ Whether the
severe measures, by which the decisions of this Synod were “ followed up-and especially the strict prohibition of printing
cor vending any other account in Latin, Dutch, or French, in " the Federated Provinces, during seven years, without a special
licence for that purpose, did not eventually conduce to this, “ may be a question.”-I will not now allude to " the severe measures, by which the decisions” of the Synod of Dort were enforced. The nature of the prohibition is here not correctly expressed; but, receiving it according to Mr. Scott's confused statement, was it ever before known, in the history of mankind, that an exclusive privilege, granted under the strongest penalties, in favour of a particular work, hindered its sale and circulation ? The effect must, in the nature of things, be exactly the contrary; and it was so in this instance. As many copies of the Acts were transmitted, in the form of presents, to the different learned men of Europe, as would have amounted to a good edition by themselves. They had a free circulation, and were extensively pushed among thetrade, by the company of industrious Dutch Booksellers to whom, under curious restrictions, the privilege was granted. Not merely in the Latin language were they sold; but, being translated into Dutch and French they were accommodated to the capacities of common readers, who, whether friends or foes, desired to obtain some account of the Synod's proceedings from the only documents which they could lawfully peruse, The most interesting portions of the Acts were also translated into English and German. The several editions of the original, and of these translations, gave a still greater extension to the Acts, the result of which is to this day perceptible in our own country, and in some other States of Europe. For, the Acts of the Remonstrants, which were published nearly at the
same time, exceedingly rare, and very little known in England. Fifty copies at least of the Calvinistic Acts may be met with in the catalogues of the English booksellers, before one of the Acts of the Remonstrants can be found.” I never inspected a respectable Dissenting Minister's library, in which the Dort Acts had not obtained a place : And that Mr. Scott, the grand expounder, to the Evangelical Clergy, of what is and what is not CALVINISM, should have known nothing till the very close of life about the doctrinal Articles determined in that Synod, - is only another lamentable proof how boldly and ignorantly some otherwise) good men can “talk withOUT BOOK !"
I have mentioned the adoption of the Decrees of the Synod of Dort, by the French Calvinists ; (pp. 255, 290 ;) and “the Arminian Acts” with the other works of the Remonstrants, could not have been more effectually excluded from the members of their Churches, had their suppression been enforced by the Popish Inquisition. In England they did not meet with a better fate, according to the narrative of the old historian :
“But the Remonstrants had likewise some great enemies among the Bishops of that Kingdom, particularly Doctor ABBOT, the
Archbishop of Canterbury, who not long before shewed his dislike of their opinions. For, when John Narsius, minister of Bommel and of the Remonstrant party, brought into England the Synodical Acts of the Remonstrants, some of the copies were stopped and taken from him, the Archbishop threatening to burn them, and to cause the owner to be thrown into prison, for bringing into the nation and dispersing books written in defence of those errors which the Synod of Dort had condemned! Those divines in England who adhered to the Doctrine of Calvin, being elevated at the ill fortune of the Remonstrants in Holland, stuffed their sermons continually with disputes about Predestination: But, the more furious they were, the more did the King's (James's] zeal, which had exerted and still did exert itself against the Remonstrants, begin to cool. He looked back upon what was passed, and by that means grew more and more sensible of the present danger from the other party."-BRANDT's History of the Reformation.
4.—Perhaps this is the proper place to correct another of Mr. Scott's egregious mis-statements :
:-" The authenticated histories “ of the Remonstrants concerning the Synod of Dort have, almost “exclusively, been noticed and credited by posterity, especially “ in this country, to the neglect of the authentic records.”—This assertion is repeated in different forms, throughout the pamphlet, also by his son, and by other writers who follow him as an oracle. What, then, are the facts of the case? Mosheim has said in a preceding page, (clii,) that the most ample account of this famous assembly has been given by Brandt." Three-fourths of that large narrative which, soon after its publication, was translated into English, were compiled from the Calvinistic Acts themselves, and from the letters and despatches of two unexceptionable witnesses, both of whom at that time were zealous Calvinists,—“the evermemorable Hales of Eton,” and Dr. Walter Balcanqual. Indeed, the Latin journal of the latter divine, after Hales's departure, was the chief document on which Brandt had to rely for information, respecting those topics of discussion about which the members quarrelled, and on which the Synodical Report observes a prudent silence or a studied brevity. That part of Dr. Heylin's History likewise which relates to the Synod, is compiled principally from Hales and Balcanqual, as well as from Bishop Womack's Arcana Dogmatum Anti-Remonstrantium. Thus, the chief English narratives of the Synodical proceedings are almost entirely copied from Calvinistic authors. On the Continent, the Predestinarian information which Hales and Balcanqual transmitted at least twice a week to the English Ambassador at the Hague, was so highly appreciated, that two separate translations of the English letters were published, by LIMBORCH at Amsterdam, and by Mosheim at Hanover. The latter of these editions is elucidated by ample notes and “ various observations,” an excellent “Life of Hales," and interesting “Considerations on the Authority of the SYNOD OF