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was again deputed, by “ his Grace and friends at Court," to work his way gradually among the religious dissidents on the Continent. Mr. Mede has likewise given a good description of the genius of the Church of England, and of the increasing endeavours to induce within it conformity to the usages of primitive antiquity. It was this trait in the National Church which attracted the notice of some of the most amiable and moderate of the Popish ecclesiastics, who were employed by their superiors in the Romish Church to amuse the Archbishop by proposing a co-alition between the two Churches. Mutual concessions were to be made for the sake of peace; and in this way, it has hoped, the Archbishop would be detained from promoting the grand Protestant union till the Papists had succeeded in their ulterior and nefarious designs. But in this hope those arch-politicians, it will be seen, were disappointed. They contrived indeed to keep the Archbishop fully occupied with domestic broils, some of which were excited by themselves, and into others they infused much of their own leaven: but the pacifying amusement which they had provided, was not found to be so captivating to a wary man as they had expected. No one can doubt, that his Grace entertained serious thoughts about the possibility of effecting an union among the various professors of christianity; but, from every authentic document which relates to this subject, it is easy to infer, that such a general pacification as Archbishop Laud intended to patronize, would have destroyed the supremacy of the Romish Pontiff
, and would have annihilated the corrupt sources both of his profit and his undue exaltation. If any competent person have perused Dr. Maclaine's copious account of the advances towards an accommodation with the Church of Rome, which were subsequently made by Archbishop Wake, he will be convinced, on comparing them with Laud's concessions, that the former liberal and worthy Prelate was not more careful than his predecessor had been in devising adequate securities for the religious liberties of the British Nation.
In another part also of the hopes which were fostered by the Papists, they were grievously disappointed : For, after all their artifices, Archbishop Laud did not withdraw his attention from a general Protestant pacification; but, in 1639, as soon as the aspect of affairs became more favourable, the measures of the court being no longer directed to the King of Spain and the Emperor of Germany, his Grace appeared again more prominently as Dury's patron, who was then, in pursuance of his instructions, about to commence his peaceful operations among the Lutherans of Sweden and Denmark. On that occasion he présented Dury with a letter of credence, which is thus described by the Pacificator himself: " A Testimonial from the most reverend Father in Christ, WILLIAM (Laud] Archbishop of
Canterbury, Primate of all England and Metropolitan; in which he declares, that it was not only with his privity and by his ‘ permission that Dury was engaged in those counsels of
peace, which the Evangelical States, assembled in Convention • at Frankfort, had in the year 1634 determined to pursue, but • that the said Dury was also deputed from England, and con
firmed (in his pacific mission] with his [Laud's] approval 6 and recommendation. To these particulars his Grace added, that, on his part, he would not intermit in his wishes and counsels to promote and favour a fraternal union among the « Churches.'
The Archbishop was not the only person who could perceive in the general posture of European affairs, as well as in those of England between 1634 and 1639, no rational expectation of obtaining a favourable result from another Convention of the Protestant States, in which it was a great part of Dury's harmless ambition to make a display: Grotius was of his Grace's opinion, as will appear in the following extract from one of his letters to Dury in 1637: :-" Reverend Sir, I regret to find from your letter the impediments which have presented themselves in opposition to your pious purpose, which is of great public utility. The principal circumstance which affords me consolation, is your unwearied constancy; and the next to it is, the great Lord Chancellor's [Oxenstern] decided inclination to complete this undertaking. Muller has shewn me the correspondence which took place between you and our Swedish divines about this affair; and, on his departure to Strasburgh, he was the bearer of a letter from me to that very excellent and most learned man Matthias Bernegger, in which I beseeched him to promote your designs in every possible manner, and to soften the spirits of those who were unduly exasperated: This friendly service, I am persuaded, he will perform. I have also conversed about this affair [of ecclesiastical union] with both the English Ambassadors who are resident at this court, the Earl of Leicester and Viscount Scudamore. It is as evident to both of them, as it is to myself, that the present times do not permit an assembly to be convened of all the Protestants in every part of Europe; for, at this period, even the common peace
of human society has no existence among the different Protestant communities. The best plan therefore would be, that, as the kingdoms of Sweden and Great Britain are now united by friendship, and will probably soon have this bond of their union more firmly cemented by a treaty, so the Churches of both these kingdoms ought to issue a public profession of their mutual concord; by which they may afford an example for the imitation of Denmark and Norway, the States contiguous to Sweden, and afterwards for that of other kingdoms. Let such a body of Churches as this be but once formed, and hopes
may then be entertained of the accession of one Church after ano. ther to the union. But this is an object which is the more desirable to Protestants, on account of the number of persons who daily desert their communion and unite themselves to the Church of Rome, for no other cause than this—they see no united body of Protestants, but several distracted parties, and flocks that separate themselves from the common fold, each of them having the participation of sacred rites restricted to their own members, and all of them engaged in the unhallowing contest of mutual railing. Who does not see that it is indeed of the greatest importance to Protestants, that these evils be rectified, especially when the vast number of those who are malevolent towards them, and are conspired against them, is considered !* Since I can scarcely
* In Rivet's Apologetical Answer to De Groot's Wishes for the Peace of the Church, this letter is quoted as far as the present paragraph; and part of another quotation (p. 609) is also given, in which mention is made of “ those churches which, for VERY IMPORTANT REASONS, have seceded from the Roman Pontiff.”–Rivet immediately subjoins these remarks on the pacific attempts of Grotius with regard to the Roman Catholics : “ These sentiments are well expressed. But when they are viewed in reference to the endeavours which he employs to subject to the Roman Pontiff all the Reformed, and by which he varnishes oser the principal of those superstitious and dogmas in which consist the very important reasons of their secession from the Pope ; there is no prudent man who will not perceive, that Grotius bimself is among those conspirators who are malevolent towards the Reformed, and that this artful fowler employs sweet music to deceive the birds, and, when they are all at length inclosed within the nets of the Romish Church, to render them submissive to its pleasure and to that of its Pontiff."-Rivet proceeds to say, that this design was very apparent from the letters which passed between Grotius and Du Vair, when the former found an asylum in the French territories. I have given the whole of that correspondence, (page 584–588,) and though Rivet quotes one of Du Vair's insidious expressions, when he called the Dutch Arminians “ those who had beguu to recal the truth from obscurity," and insinuates from this, that Grotius and his Armipian friends intevded to iutroduce Popery into Holland; yet to those who have perused the circumspect and pious answer to Du Vair's overtures, (p. 586,) a formal defence of the integrity of the motives which actuated Grotius and his friends, is reudered unnecessary. The following is Rivet's conclusion : “ These expressions, do not require any prolix comment. Those who peruse them will not be altogether so senseless, as not to perceive very readily the wishes which these promises convey, and the reciprocal promises and duties to which they correspond. . So that politicians themselves will justly wonder, that the man who has published such things, was not aware of his disclosing a negotiation, which is only a slight remove from a collusion; since, upon the condition of mutual obligations, (do ut des,) it is no novelty to any man, if this mystery, which was then commenced and is now revealed, bas gradually acquired strength in its progress, till it could openly raise its bead aloft, as now it does."
The calm and dignified reply of Grotius to the base insinuations and bitter sarcasms of Rivet, is so worthy of that great man, as to demand in this note a place for itself. ". Those who know Grotius are aware, that the restoration of Christians into one and the same body, has always appeared to bim a desirable object. But it was his opinion for some time, even after he had become acquainted with the very illustrious Chancellor Du Vair, that this union could have its commencement in the mutual conjunction of Protestants among themselves. He afterwards plainly saw, that such a plan could not possibly be executed; because, in addition to the circumstance of the dispositions of nearly all the Calvinists being exceedingly averse to peace,
perform any better service, I will assist your labours by my earnest prayers to God; and, as frequently as opportunities present themselves, I will address my discourse to those persons the Protestants are joined together by no common bond of ecclesiastical regimen : These are two causes which prevent the parties, already formed, from being collected into one body of Protestants; and they are, besides, the causes why otber parties will continue to arise. For these reasons, Grotius now evidently perceives, and many others with him, that the Protestants cannot be united together among themselves, unless they form an union with those who adhere to the Roman See: Without such a junction, no hopes can exist of a common government in the cburch. It is on this account that he wishes the rent which has been made, and the causes of this rent, to be all at once removed. Among these causes, the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome,
according to the Canons, cannot be reckoned, which is the open avowal of Melancthon, who considers that supremacy to be quite necessary to maintain unity: For this plan does not subject the Church to the pleasure of the • Pontiff,' but it restores an order which had its origin in wisdom.-The further inferences which Rivet makes from Du Vair's letter, have nothing of truth about them, not even the semblance; but, if it be lawful to employ the expressions of Rivet against himself, they contain' unblushing maliciousness.' For if Grotius, at the invitation of such a great man, [the Chancellor of France,] had been willing to make such a promise, as Rivet feigos him to have made, it was in his power, after wicked Calvinists bad deprived him of his country and of his property, to have obtained those ample promises of honours and advantages which he never received from the King of France, and never hoped to receive : Had Grotius been willing to make such a promise, he would not have been under any necessity of leaving France, and of devoting his services to the affairs of another kingdom. And now likewise, when he produces all that he is able for the restoration of peace to the Church, France bestows nothing on him; and were she wishful to bestow, he would not consent to be the receiver. But low and venal miuds always draw their estimate of other men by their own standard ; and they have no eyes by which they can behold the beauty of a purpose, that is as honourable as it is profitless to a private individual.”
Rivet had appended to his Apologetical Answer, two productions which he deemed incompatible with each other,-an epigram formerly written by Grotius, on the Annals of Baronius,-and some Åvapæstic Latin verses which Grotius composed in his boyhood, up the death of Beza. But, in his indecent haste to represent this persecuted individual as a Papist, Rivet omitted four verses of the former, which materially altered the meaning of the whole epigram; and he added at the close of his extract, the following sarcastic remark: “God knows, whether it is the wish of Grotius by this method to obtain fame and riches."
The reply is as follows: “ Grotius had been unwilling to publish, among bis poems, the epigram which he prefixed to CASAUBON's Exercitations on the Annals of Baronius: because he thought it a production not well calculated to promote peace, the love of which increased as his age advanced. But Rivet bas published it, both in a situation unsuitable enough, and in a purposely mutilated condition. For be omits these lines, which are evidently necessary to complete the sense. After quoting, the lines, Grotius says: “ This is the way upon which Rivet and his colleagues are proceeding. Grotius is in possession of a sufficient portion of reputation, and has as much substance as renders him contented; but he has shewn by facts, that he can endure the absence of the latter [of riches] with equanimity. He has not, therefore, any motive for giving utterance on sacred subjects to any sentiments that are contrary to his own convictions, or to the opinions of the Ancients. The applauses bestowed on Beza are beyond due bounds, as are most things when done by young men and poets. Whatever is culpable in his poem, Grotius has no other method of correcting, than that of lamenting the fact, and of wishing those Anapæstics to lie buried with Beza, and never afterwards be disturbed by any one in their place of repose."-Other parts of the remarks of Grotius may be seen in pages 270—278.
who are capable of producing some good effect.
With regard to the method which you adopt, I advise you to accommodate it, as far as you practically can, to those circumstances which the Great Lord Chancellor shall judge not only to be the best, but the most suitable both with regard to time and place. May God direct your footsteps, reverend Sir, and prosper your design."
Every one who knows the strict intimacy which subsisted between the Archbishop and Lord Scudamore, will also know, that, through this nobleman, while ambassador at the Court of France, his Grace maintained an indirect correspondence with Grotius, and, in the very interesting exchange of counsels, he became acquainted with all the benevolent designs of his great contemporary. The conclusions in this letter may therefore be regarded as their united opinion about the aspect of the times. While on the subject of Dury's intercourse with the Swedish and Danish Churches, I subjoin a brief account of the result, in the perusal of which the reader may feel gratified. Dury found one of his most formidable difficulties to be, the aversion conceived by the Lutherans against the arbitrary conduct and intolerant decisions of the Synod of Dort. The depressed condition of the Calvinists in various countries of Europe, and the formidable aspect of Popish domination in Germany, were circumstances highly in favour of Dury's attempts to remove the synodical odium: For he obtained tes. timonials from several Calvinistic Churches and Universities, expressive of their desire to behold a closer union between all who were Reformed from Popery, and of their willingness to yield some of their several prejudices for the furtherance of such a desirable measure. The stiffness and pertinacity of the Dutch Churches, who considered it a shameful dereliction of high Predestinarian principles thus to lower the dignified standard of authority assumed by their beloved Synod, proved in the sequel to be no insuperable impediment to Dury's progress; for it was viewed, even by the moderate of their own party, as a pardonable remnant of that vanity and ambition which had prompted them to hope, sixteen years before, for the establish
Rivet's pamphlets were the text-books, from which our countrymen, Richard Baxter and John Owen, derived their inflammatory materials against the character of the deceased Grotius. (See pages 284 & 641.) Rivet had in his rage painted Grotius, both as a Socinian and a PAPIST. It is remarkable, that Owen acquits him of POPERY, and with his usual dulness attempts to affix on him the charge of SOCINIANISM, which would have applied with greater justice to the sentiments of his predestinarian friend Dr. Twisse. (Page 468.) Baxter, on the contrary, exonerates Grotius from the charge of SOCINIANISM, aod, with his characteristic wit and adroitness, tries to represent him as a MODERATE Papist. Thus, as the celebrated Thorndike observes, (page 640,) by the labours of his two English calumniators, Grotius was vindicated in as successful a manner as his friends could desire, from both these accusations.