1 . Arminius' student years
The spokesman of the opposition within the Reformed Church became Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609). This was the Latinized form of his name Jacobus Hermansz. He was born in Oudewater (province of Utrecht), where his native home still stands; his parents were both members of the Reformed Church. His father died when he was fourteen. During a Spanish raid in 1575 his mother and his brothers and sisters were murdered by enemy soldiers.[i] After this catastrophe a friend of the family took him with him to Utrecht, where he went to school, probably the famous Hieronymus school, where he was taught the classical languages.
Once again luck was with him, when a professor of the Protestant University of Marburg took the boy with him. He did not stay long in Marburg, for soon the Netherlands had their own Protestant university, that of Leiden, founded in 1575. The sixteen-year-old boy was immatriculated there on October 23, 1576; he belonged to Leiden's first batch of students, for he was entered as no. 12. He studied many subjects, one of these being mathematics, in which he became so proficient that he was in 1578 allowed to teach it. Yet his main interest went to theology. With a grant of the city of Amsterdam, he could in 1581 prosecute his studies in the Mecca of Calvinism, Geneva, where the old Théodore Béza was still president of the university.
Arminius, now twenty-one years of age, did not feel wholly at ease with the Calvinistic doctrine that dominated the study of theology. Already then he had theological insights of his own. Problems arose, when he started holding a kind of privatissimum, where he shared his insights with some other students. One of these was Johannes Uyttenbogaert (1557-1641), later Maurits' court chaplain. Such activities did not please some of the professors, with the result that the young man had to transfer himself to Basle.
He was very welcome in this city, so much so that he was charged with giving public lectures on theology. In 1583 he could return to Geneva, where he pursued his studies until 1586 without experiencing new difficulties. He rounded off his studies with a sojourn at the university of Padua and with a visit to Rome, where, according to his Remonstrant biographer, he became acquainted "with the perversity ... of the Roman court, worse than [he] had ever heard of read about."[ii] It was time to go home now: on November 12, 1587, the young theologian arrived in Amsterdam; he was twenty-six at the time and had spent six years outside his fatherland.
2. His orthodoxy doubted
From his return to the Republic until his death a cloud of vicious rumours hung about Arminius. They were caused by his visit to Rome. What had a genuine Calvinist to seek in this den of the whore of Babylon, the home of the Antichrist? He had kissed the Pope's feet, he had attended sessions of the Jesuits, he had consulted the Jesuit cardinal Bellarminus, he had abjured the true religion, all culminating in the most devastating accusation of all: he was a secret Papist.[iii] Nothing of this was only remotely true. It is characteristic of the dualism of the prevailing mental climate that one who was not a 100 % Calvinistic Calvinist could be nothing but a `Papist'.
3. His career as a preacher
However, the classis Amsterdam had no objections. He was appointed as preacher, held his first sermon on February 4, 1588, and got his license on July 12 of that year. His first years in patria were propitious; on September 16, 1590, he married Elisabeth Reael, daughter of a wealthy Reformed merchant. He wrote a letter to a professor in Basle in March 1591, that throws a light on his mental disarray: "There is much quarelling here about predestination, original sin, and free will. I cannot make sense of it."[iv] A colleague, Petrus Plancius (1552-1622), heard deviating sounds in his sermons and brought this before the consistory. In a solemn session he was attacked by Plancius, and Arminius defended himself. The burgomasters intervened by admonishing the preachers to keep the peace among themselves and warning them not to treat controversial points on the pulpit.
Arminius preached happily on, mostly to a large audience, for he was eloquent; even Lutherans and Mennonites came to listen to him. However, his subject was explosive, for it was Paul's Letter to the Romans, the text that had played such a great role in the origination of the Reformation.[v] When he came to the crucial Chapter 9, where the apostle speaks of election, he tuned down its implications as much as possible. Some of his colleagues were not satisfied with his approach, so that he was once again cited before the consistory. He defended himself by saying that he had never taught anything against the Confession and the Cathechism. Soon the discussion became heated, but Armimius remained calm. In the end he got off scotfree. The distant thunder was heard for some time still, but then it subsided, so that Arminius enjoyed ten tranquil years in Amsterdam.
4. Professor in Leiden
In the summer of 1602 the pest raged in Leiden to which two professors of theology fell victim. Arminius was sufficiently renowned then to be considered for a professorship. There was, however, a problem: he was not a doctor theologiae, and being one was a necessary precondition. He presented a number of theses, about which he was examined by Professor Gomarus on June 19, 1603; this man would later become his fiercest opponent. He got his degree, was appointed, and began his lessons in September. But let us first of all become acquainted with Gomarus.
5. Gomarus' wanderings
Gomarus is the Latinized form of Gomaers. Franciscus Gomarus was born in Bruges on January 30, 1563, as the son of Fransoys Gomaers and Johanna Moermans, both Protestants.[vi] We know very little about Gomarus' youth and studies. He went to school in his native city, but it is unknown to which one. His Latin and Greek were good in any case. In 1577 the situation of the Protestants in Flanders became so dangerous that his parents emigrated to the Pfalz. Their son did not stay with them, but went on to Strasbourg, where he became a pupil of the gymnasium, which had the famous humanist Johannes Sturmius (1507-1589) as its rector. The three years - 1577-1580 - he spent at this school were mainly devoted to the study of Latin and also that of philosophy.
Without having acquired a degree, the boy pursued his studies at the Casimirianum in Neustadt on the Haardt, a Reformed bulwark. Here he learned Hebrew. He was certainly a Reformed Protestant then. Without once again having acquired a degree, he left Neustadt in 1582; probably it was the still ubiquitous pest, then also raging in this town, that drove him away. We see that this young man led the itinerant life of so many scholars in this days. In the autumn he was in Oxford, sitting at the feet of some famous professors. In the spring of 1583 he moved to Cambridge, where he became a baccalaureus at last. Here too he listened to the leading lights of the university, until in the beginning of 1585 he migrated again.
His next station was Heidelberg, a Calvinistic Mecca. He attended lessons given by several professors, but at the end of 1586 he was again on the road, this time to Frankfurt am Main. Here he became a settled man: he was confirmed as a preacher, and married Emerentia Muysenhob, a refugee from Antwerp, in October 1588. Emerentia having died in the spring of 1591, Gomarus married Maria l'Hermite in the summer of 1593. This marriage led to problems. Maria was not an inhabitant of the city for which reason Gomarus was not allowed to marry her. The city council ordered him to depart, so that he left Frankfurt in January 1594; he was just thirty-one then. This was very probably only a pretext for getting rid of him. Gomarus was an irascible man, who could be, and often became, very vehement against colleagues whose insighhts met with his displeasure.
6. Professor in Leiden
More or less expelled from the city on the Main, Gomarus established himself in Hanau. Meanwhile, the burgomasters of Leiden thought good to create a third chair of theology; their choice was Gomarus who had made himself a name with several learned publications. On February 12, 1594, he was appointed. However, just as Arminius some years later, he had the problem that he was not a doctor theologiae, not even a licentiatus theologiae. He therefore returned to Heidelberg, where he first became, on March 14, a licentiatus and immediately after a doctor theologiae. Having returned to Leiden, he was sumptuously entertained at a dinner of welcome by the curatorium. He held his inaugural oration on June 8. He did not only become a professor, but he had to preach on Sundays in the Reformed churches of the city, while he also became engaged with the already mentioned Bible translation.
As already related, the pest that raged in Leiden in 1602 left Gomarus as the sole professor of theology. A new appointment was highly necessary. On November 9 Gomarus appeared uninvited in the office of the curators. He declared not to doubt that the curatorium would appoint learned and peaceful men, steadfast in doctrine and not quarrelsome. He had heard, however, that names were circulating (of Arminius, but he did not mention his name), who were learned and popular with the students, but whose appointment would cause disagreement among the professors (that is, with him). He went on to propose a number of candidates, but Arminius's name did not come over his lips.[vii]
Gomarus relates that his colleague Franciscus Junius had warned him against Arminius on his deathbed. "In extremis [he admonished me] that, because I would remain the only professor of theology, I must warn the curators and the burgomasters that, if Arminius would be appointed, it must be feared that there would be disturbance of the university and of the Church."[viii] This did happen indeed, but it was not Arminius who caused the trouble. Gomarus' visit to the curators had, as will be evident, a hardly hidden agenda, and the curators will not have misunderstood him.
What is related above is the official version, found in the Resolutions of the curatorium. There is, however, another version, presented by Johannes Uyttenbogaert, Maurits' chaplain, in his Kerckeliike Historie, (Ecclesiastical History, 1647). According to this version, Gomarus did indeed mention Arminius' name, saying that he had deviating opinions on predestination, God's grace, and free will. The curators found that there must be room for deviating opinions, but Gomarus returned to the charge by telling the curators that theologians had an unfavourable opinion of Arminius.
The curators first asked whether Gomarus was personally acquainted with Arminius - no, he wasn't -, and then wanted to know from whom this unfavourable opinion came. At first Gomarus would not answer, but then mentioned Plancius' name. The discrepancy between the official version and that of Uyttenbogaert results perhaps from the Resolutions being the official version and Uyttenbogaert's that of a discussion that followed on Gomarus' presentation.[ix]
7. The Gomarus-Arminius relationship
However this may be, the curatorium appointed Arminius, who declared himself ready to overcome his colleague's opposition in an amicable conversation. Gomarus spoke with Uyttenbogaert on March 3, 1603; his face foreboded a thunderstorm. He reproached Uyttenbogaert for recommending a man who was unsound in the faith and also for meddling in the affairs of the academy. When Uyytenbogaert pleaded for Arminius, Gomarus angrily retorted that he was a godless man. He quoted Arminius as having written that the human will is not determined by a divine decision (which would mean a denial of the predestination). He was prepared to accept his new colleague, but in case of disagreement there would be `harsh words'. He concluded by declaring that he would suffer and tolerate his colleague as well as he could. This did not spell much good.[x]
Gomarus and Arminius met one another for the first time on May 6, 1603, during a conference arranged in a private house in The Hague. The functions of those who were present prove how important the affair was thought to be: two pastors who were also delegates to the States of Holland, the curators, two burgomasters of Leiden, Uyttenbogaert, two councillors, and the two professors themselves. Arminius stated that he was glad to have the opportunity for proving his innocence, but Gomarus immediately attacked him because of his unorthodox exegesis of certain passages in the Letter to the Romans. Arminius assured that he rejected Pelagianism - the doctrine of there being no original sin -, but his colleague said that this was not evident to him.
The discussion continued for some time, but in the end Gomarus declared to be satisfied, because his colleague had promised to remain true to the doctrine of the Dutch Reformed Church. All is well that ends well: the whole party went to an inn, where they enjoyed a good dinner.[xi] Yet, looking back from our present standpoint, it is evident that they were all pulling the wool over their eyes.
8. The opposing opinions
It did not last long before it became public knowledge that the two professors did not see eye to eye with regard to the doctrine of predestination. Their dispute literally became the talk of the day. We are not in the twenty-first century, but in the seventeenth, when people took a passionate interest in theological questions; they were discussed in the homes, on the streets, in the taverns, and were heard about from the pulpits and read about in the pamphlets. Many were really knowledgeable about such questions; in any case, everyone had an opinion of his own. Since theology nowadays is terra incognita for most people, it is necessary to present the opposing views in some detail. It has already appeared in these pages that, with regard to the doctrine of predestination, some Calvinists allowed themselves some latitude.
a. Gomarus's viewpoints
Gomarus was fiercely anti-Catholic; the `papal Church', he said, dishonoured Christ. He rejected the whole hierarchy of the Church, Pope, bishops, and priests, who were nothing but venomous wolves. He abhorred the monastic Orders, the sacraments, and the churches, which were idol temples. Papal doctrine is nothing but superstition; the correct doctrine is to be found in the Christian (= Reformed) Church. There is only one rule of faith, the Bible.[xii] Gomarus' view of the Roman Catholic Church is purely dualistic.
His standpoint with regard to predestination was vintage Calvinism. He always defended this doctrine in its most absolute form: God has, in his inscrutable wisdom, destined some to life and others to death, that is, to perpetual doom. Faith is only given to those who are predestined to be saved, to the elect, this means. God has sent his Son Jesus Christ to help the elect to be saved, but his salvific work is not for the doomed; nothing and nobody can help them. God is not unjust, if he rejects people without regarding the way their way of life; it does not matter how they live.[xiii] Such is God's sovereign will that the believer must adore, even if he does not understand it.[xiv]
b. Arminius' viewpoints
"Arminius", writes Evert Dekker, "is a name that easily evokes reactions in Protestant-ecclesiastlical circles. Arminius, is he not the one opposite Gomarus in the conflict over human freedom and God's grace? According to some, he is the heterodox theologian who defended human freedom at the cost of divine grace. Others view him as a courageous defender of human freedom against a deterministic and merciless election doctrine." The opposition between Gomarus and Arminius has been institutionalized in the Netherlands, for next to the Netherlands Reformed Churches there is also a Remonstrant (= Arminian) Church. However, "when one is dubbed `arminian' or `remonstrant' in orthodox-reformed milieus, this is usually not a compliment. It really means that one is a heretic." But, concludes Dekker, "the content of the label `arminian' only faultily corresponds with the theology of the arminian, Arminius himself."[xv]
It must first of all be stated that Arminius did not experience the need of defining his position vis-à-vis the ancient Church, as his colleague had done.[xvi] In September 1601 he gave three lectures on `The subject of theology', in which he did not so much as mention it. Combating the Church and its doctrine was not a thing of prime importance to him. Another thing that strikes us is that he did not pay much attention to the doctrine of predestination nor did he harp on the main tenets of the Christian faith: there is no mention of the Trinity, for instance. [xvii]
Initially, Arminius's lessons were about subjects from the Old Testament, but in 1604 he began also to discuss passages from the New Testament. This nettled Gomarus, who was professor primarius - head of the department, as we would say now -, and who considered New Testament studies as his field. He told his colleague testily: "You are encroaching on my domain." Arminius replied that the curatorium had given the freedom to choose subjects, from both Testaments. It would have been more tactful, if he would have discussed this with his colleague beforehand, for the relationship was already disturbed.[xviii]
It is not easy to summarize Arminius' theology, because it is very subtle and nuanced. Fortunately, summarizing it is not necessry in this context. We must restrict ourselves to where he deviated from Gomarus' position that was also that of the Reformed Church. It made him suspect as a Reformed theologian that he so explicitly referred to scholastic theologians, particularly to Thomas Aquinas. To quote Dekker, "The doctrine of divine knowledge [which is an important element in the theology of predestination] fits for an important part in the medieval tradition of, among others, Thomas Aquinas."[xix] He also relies on contemporary post-scholastic Roman Catholic theologians, Luis de Molina, Suarez, and Robertus Bellarminus (who was, horribile dictu, a Jesuit); he is, to some extent, tributary to them.
Arminius deviates from the core tenets of the Reformed Church in that he breaks a lance for free will. He distinguishes two grades of freedom, divine free will and human free will. God's will is absolutely free; he can realize what he wants to realize and is not restricted by circumstances. Human free will is restricted by circumstances; we cannot realize all that we want. I am free to go out for a walk, but I see that it is raining cats and dogs; therefore, I decide to stay indoors. Human will is contingent, that is, it is dependent on the circumstances. That it is raining is God's will; it is he who determines the circumstances. However, according to Arminius, "God has no control over the possibility of realizing a fixed connection between circumstances and an act of human free will."[xx] In other words, I am free to choose between staying at home and going out in the rain and getting soaked.
It is Roman Catholic doctrine that God gives his grace to all people in a sufficient measure - gratia sufficiens - to help them to be saved. However, since human will is free, one can reject this grace and live as though it were not given. It is Calvin's doctrine that God gives his grace to only a restricted number of people, which grace cannot be withstood; these chosen will be saved anyhow. To the rest of mankind God does not give his grace; these are doomed.
Deviating from Reformed theology, Arminius posited that grace can be withstood. He writes literally: "Is a human being then a piece of wood that assents to grace with purely natural necessity? If this is not true, then a man assents with free will, and therefore he can also not assent, that is, withstand." This implies that there are no chosen who will be unconditionally saved; the faithful must collaborate with grace in order to be saved.[xxi] It will be evident that the Arminian position has very important consequences for the doctrine of predestination. It should not be stated beforehand that Arminius rejects this doctrine out of hand. But he criticizes Calvin's position in this way that God does not punish people and destine them to eternal doom even before they are born. He also states that God is not the cause of the Fall and, in consequence, of there being sin in the world.
Referring to Molina and, through him, to Saint Augustine, Arminius gives as his opinion that, in creating the world, God determined which specific circumstances would prevail in it, for instance, that the sun regularly rises and sets. He knows, through his foreknowledge, how people will react to the circumstances with which they are confronted, and in particular what they will do with the grace that is given them: accept it or reject it. This is what Arminius calls `predestination', but it is not what Calvin meant by it.[xxii]
9. A public affair
On October 31, 1604, a disputation was held between Gomarus and another theologian; Arminius was also present. Gomarus excitedly opened the disputation with a statement on predestination - a subject that was not on the agenda -, in which he sharply attacked his colleague without mentioning his name. Arminius did not react. It was the first time that the controversy really became public. In 1605 Arminius became rector magnificus of the university, because it was his turn. This was an honourable position, but he was unable to enjoy it. He was attacked from all sides. If he used a Lutheran argument, it was immediately said that he had become a Lutheran; was it a Catholic argument, then, still worse, he had evidently become a Catholic.[xxiii] The object of all this stupid slander suffered this mostly in silence. He wrote to Uyttenbogaert on July 7, 1605: "I will do my utmost that my quiet behaviour and my equanimity are apparent to everyone, so that I may be vindicated by the clarity of my cause and my way of acting."[xxiv]
10. The call for a national synod
Meanwhile the affair had acquired such proportions that it was urged from several sides to hold a national synod. Since such a synod could not be convened without the permission of the States General; this meant that the affair was now reaching the political sphere. This was also the first time that Oldenbarnevelt became involved. The States General discussed the matter, but nothing cam of it, because the Advocate and other prominent delegates were fully occupied with the negotiations for a truce. There was yet another reason. On May 26, 1607, a number of Reformed theologians were convened by the States General, that is, by the Advocate, in order to prepare a National Synod. What Oldenbarnevelt wanted was that the doctrinal base of the Reformed Church would be broadened. This naturally meant that some changes should be made in the Confession and the Cathechism, but the theologians maintained that not the slightest alteration was possible. This made Oldenbarnevelt lose his interest in a National Synod.[xxv]
11. An appeal to the States of Holland
We possess a letter by Gomarus, dated October 23, 1607, in which he enumerates the theological points on which he disagreed with his colleague. His opponent holds, he wrote, that God did not cause Adam's Fall - that God is not an angry God - that human will is free and not determined by divine providence - that grace is universal - that spiritual rebirth is not only for the chosen. A direct result of the conflict was that the students were becoming unruly. They disturbed the lessons, and professors were hissed and booed. Finally, all lessons had to be cancelled for a time.
Feeling being driven into a corner, Arminius appealed to the States of Holland. They referred the case to the Court of Holland, ordering it to investigate the question and, if possible, to arrange a conciliation. On May 30, 1608, the contending parties appeared before the Court in The Hague, Gomarus and Arminius, both of them, each with two assistants. The president of the Court admonished them to obey the States as the highest authority in Holland; it could not clearer be expressed that the affair had become political. He then asked Gomarus if there was any divergence of opinion existed between him and Arminius, and if so, in which points this consisted. Gomarus, however, declared that the conflict was of an ecclesiastical and theological nature, so that only the Church was competent to give a judgment on it. He almost roundly told the judges that they had competence only in civil affairs. "One should obey God rather than men."
The judges answered that they did not arrogate a judgment to themselves; they only wanted to investigate which exactly the disputed points were. Would Gomarus please tell them? Somewhat disingeniously he answered that he had never accused his colleague; he had always treated him amicably. Because Gomarus obviously was dodging the question, the Court urged him to state whether there was a controversy. Yes, he said, perhaps there was, but he could not say more, because he had neither attended Arminius' lessons nor read what he had written. The judges became irritated. They said they were not satisfied and ordered Gomarus to present full information. Yes, he said, there was a conflict indeed, but this courtroom was not the place for discussing it. Let Arminius first bring forward what he had to say.
His opponent said that he had objections against Gomarus' doctrine of the predestination, that, according to him, was at variance with the Confession and the Cathechism. A long discussion followed, until the session was adjourned. The next day, May 31, the discussion was continued. Finally, Arminius declared to be prepared to submit his opinion in writing, if only Gomarus would do the same. The Court agreed, and on June 4 Gomarus presented thirty-one articles, after which Arminus brought twenty-sixth articles on the 5th. He added that he would abdicate as professor and pastor, if the Church rejected them.
The Court reported the proceedings to the States in the presence of the two parties. They stated that there was no divergence of insight between the two professors on those points which were necessary for salvation - leaving in the middle which points they meant. Finally, the Advocate admonished the parties to keep the peace. However, Gomarus protested. How now? No divergence of insight? But there was an enormous divergence, precisely on the most fundamental points. Prophetically, he declared that, if the conflict would not be solved within the shortest possible time, it would give rise to such a disagreement that provinces, cities, churches, and citizens would violently oppose each other.[xxvi] The delegates were indeed pulling the wool over their eyes; they found the negotiations with Spain far more important than a quarrel between two professors.
12. Hearings by the States
Yet so easily could the States not wash their hands of the affair. Gomarus gave vent to this opinion that Arminius endangered the country and the Church with his opinions. Wanting to clear himself of this accusation (which was in fact one of high treason), Arminius requested to be heard by the States of Holland. They agreed, so that he could extensively defend his position on October 30, 1608.[xxvii]
In his turn Gomarus also wanted to be heard. Uninvitedly he appeared in The Hague; when he asked to be allowed to present his position, the States agreed, and December 12, he was heard. His tone was bitter and sometimes insulting. He ended by saying that more and more pastors were deviating from the correct doctrine, that a strange mixture had been made of the Reformed doctrine, that the University of Leiden now counted for nothing, and that ample opportunity was given to enemies of the truth. Finally, he asked for the convocation of a National Synod. The delegates were unfavourably impressed by this speech.[xxviii]
13. A disputation
Naturally, this was not the end of the affair. On July 25, 1609, Arminius arranged a disputation on the subject of man's calling to salvation. The hub of his argument was that God forces nobody to be saved or to be doomed. He wants everyone to be saved and gives all people sufficient grace to achieve this, but this grace can be withstood. Curiously enough, there was a Jesuit present, Adriaen Smetius, who participated in the debate. A Jesuit! The bare devil! Gomarus alternately turned red and pale; he scribbled notes, whispered something to his neighbour, looked at Arminius, looked at the audience, mumbled something in himself, and no longer able to constrain himself, he said: "What an impudence is this!".
Once outside he burst out. "Today the reins of Popedom has been loosened exceedingly well". Seeing his opponent standing next to the Jesuit, he said to his colleagues: "Such a disputation that publicly opened the door for popery I have never heard in this Academy." Arminius retorted that he had only presented his opinion, an opinion that had nothing to do with Popedom. "I shall not leave it at this," said Gomarus, going angrily away.[xxix] This was meant as a declaration of war.
14. Once again heard by the States
In the idle hope that it would be possible to bring about a reconcilation, the States of Holland once again cited the contestants before them. They appeared in their assembly of August 12, 1609, at seven o'clock in the morning; both professors were allowed to bring four assistants with them (one of those of Arminius was Uyttenbogaert). They were seated at a table, a professor at each end, with the assistants along the sides. Oldenbarnevelt opened the session by reminding the parties that the States had the task of caring for unity in the religion; therefore the delegates wanted to know which differences of opinion there were. Naturally they knew this already; what they really wanted to know is whether these differences were important enough to cause such a fuss.
Gomarus said that Arminius' doctrine was at variance with the Confession and that he could prove it; his opponent pleaded his innocence: he had never taught anything against the Confession. After some to and fro, Oldenbarnevelt intervened. Would the parties state whether a National Synod should revise the Confession? Yet Gomarus had another idea. There should be a disputation on doctrinal points, in particular on justification, for Arminius' doctrine about this was worse than that of the Papists. We can almost hear Oldenbarnevelt sigh. Should there or should there not be a revision? he repeated. No, said Gomarus, this was not the point. The main point was that his colleague was deviating from the existing Confession. Arminius then got the opportunity to defend his position. Meanwhile, it had become eleven o'clock, and the session, which had lasted for four long hours, was closed.[xxx]
Can one imagine the French Assemblée, the British House of Commons, the American House of Representatives, or the Dutch Second Chamber listening for hours to a theological discussion? But at that time people were not so quickly tired of theology. The discussion was reopened on the 13th and later adjourned to the 18th. Finally, after nine (sic) days of discussing Oldenbarnevelt had to conclude that his aim of making peace had not been reached. Uyttenbogaert held a long concluding speech in a conciliatory tone.[xxxi]
15. Arminius' death
One of the reasons for leaving it at this was that Arminius was utterly exhausted. He was suffering from a disease for which there was no remedy then, tuberculosis. He returned to Oudewater to die there on October 9, 1609; he was only forty-nine years old. Without any doubt the enormous stress caused by the controversy had hastened his end. As the peace loving and non-combative man he was, Arminius was not made for a struggle like this. With his death the question was by no means settled. The war of pamphlets raged on to which both sides contributed; they were eagerly bought and read by the general public.[xxxii]
16. Gomarus' demise
If there was no longer an Arminius in Leiden, soon there was also no Gomarus. He had some reason to be irritated, for he was not consulted about the appointment of a successor for Arminius. He had still more reason for annoyance, when he heard that the new professor was to be C. Vorstius, a German whose orthodoxy was judged doubtful. Gomarus got the opportunity to expound his objections against Vorstius, when he appeared before the curatorium on October 1, 1610. The quintessence of his exposition was that, compared to Vorstius, Arminius was a saint. However, the German was appointed.[xxxiii]
Gomarus was now utterly through with the university. In a letter of March 4, 1611, he wrote that his enemies had gained the upperhand in Leiden; strange, unorthodox doctrines were freely taught. There was a theological college in Middelburg, where he got an appointment; he established himself there in May 1611, but he did not stay long in Zeeland. In 1615 he was appointed at the University of Saumur in France, but already in 1618 he moved to Groningen, where he became professor of theology at the theological college. He stayed in that city until his death on January 11, 1641; he was seventy-eight years old then.
DEKKER, Evert, Rijker dan Midas. Vrijheid, genade en predestinatie in de theologie van Jacobus Arminius. Zoetermeer (NL), 1993.
ISRAEL, Jonathan, The Dutch Republic. Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477-1806. Oxford, 1995.
ITTERZON, G.P. van, Franciscus Gomarus. Amsterdam, 1929.
MARONIER, J.H., Jacobus Arminius. Een biogrrafie. Amsterdam, 1905.
TEX, Jan den, Oldenbarnevelt. 3 Vols. Haarlem, 1960-1972.
WINKELMAN, Petrus Henricus, Remonstranten en Katholieken in de eeuw van Hugo de Groot. Amsterdam, 1945.
[i].. We do not possess much in the line of Arminius biography: Maronier, Jacobus Arminius (see Bibliography).
[ii].. Maronier, Arminius 45.
[iii].. Maronier, Arminius 50.
[iv].. Quoted by Maronier, Arminius 60/61.
[v].. See for this Vol. XXII, Ch. III, § 19.
[vi].. There is only one biography of him, by Van Itterzon, Franciscus Gomarus (see Bibliography).
[vii].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 82/83.
[viii].. Quoted by van Itterzon, Gomarus 82.
[ix].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 84/85.
[x].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 88/89.
[xi].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 93-96.
[xii].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 67/68.
[xiii].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 104/105 and 162/163.
[xiv].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 284-286.
[xv].. Dekker, Rijker dan Midas 1.
[xvi].. It is true that he sometimes called the Pope `the Antichrist', but this was hardly more than a stereotype at the time. Yet is also occurred that he called the Pope `our brother'. His repeated maledictions of the papacy sound somewhat suspect to us. It is as though he feels in the deepest of his soul that they do not really accord with his concept of Christian love," Winkelman, Remonstranten en Katholieken, Ch. I Arminius en Rome. Quotations on p. 35.
[xvii].. Marnoer, Arminius 180-184.
[xviii].. Maronier, Arminius 186/187.
[xix].. Dekker, Rijker dan Midas 102.
[xx].. Dekker, Rijker dan Midas 103, also 320.
[xxi].. Dekker, Rijker dan Midas 172.
[xxii].. Dekker, Rijker dan Midas 322/323.
[xxiii].. Maronier, Arminius 208.
[xxiv].. Quoted by van Itterzon, Gomarus 110.
[xxv].. Israel, Dutch Republic 422.
[xxvi].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 120-127.
[xxvii].. See for this Maronier, Arminius 290-300, partly literally.
[xxviii].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 130-134.
[xxix].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 137/138.
[xxx].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 138-143.
[xxxi].. Maronier, Arminius 322-328.
[xxxii].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 151-189.
[xxxiii].. Van Itterzon, Gomarus 191-193.