Jesus answered, ... Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
—John 18:37-38.

[The Judgment of the Synod of Dort Concerning the Five Articles of the Arminians.]
 
T H E   I V D G E M E N T
OF THE
S Y N O D E
Holden at
D O R T,
Concerning the fiue Articles:
¶As also their sentence touching
CONRADVS VORSTIVS.

ACTS 15.25. It seemed good unto us, being
assembled with one accord, &c.

LONDON
PRINTED BY IOHN BILL
M. DC. XIX.

TrueCovenanter.com Editor's Introduction:

Dear Reader,

The document set before you is the original 1619 translation into English of what is commonly referred to as the "Canons of Dort." It is presented with all of the associated documents originally published at that time, as well as an appendix containing the Declaration of the Decree made by the General States of the United Netherlands against the Arminians. Although omitted from modern English editions, the Preface is worthy of the modern reader's attention, as it declares the trials of Christ's Church, and how her Saviour has delivered her from the devices of Satan and his wicked servants in all ages. The sentiments expressed here, as well as in the Sentence of the Synod, and in the Approbation of the Estates General, all declare the deadly and intolerable nature of the Heresy of Arminianism. Modern "Reformed" authors and churches who like to glory much in their pretended doctrinal orthodoxy, while flattering Arminians with the title of Christian Brethren and Friends of Truth and Righteousness, as if they believed and taught the same Gospel of our Lord JESUS CHRIST, only in a less perfect method and terminology, or less accurate doctrinal "approximation of the truth," may like to associate themselves with the historic faith and testimony of this Synod, but the reader may judge for himself how unlike their sentiments and behaviour are to these Faithful Shepherds who used all Righteous Means available to expel these Wolves from the Flock.

To some, such prefatory notes may seem impertinent, but the present estate of the Church of Jesus Christ declares plainly just how dangerous this Heresy is, and how Heinous a sin is the Toleration thereof, both on the part of Ecclesiastical Rulers, who testify not against it in their Church Courts, nor faithfully from Pulpits, and also on the part of Civil Rulers, who make not their Sword ready for the defence of the Bride of Jesus Christ. By our Solemn League and Covenant, (whereby all Presbyterians are obliged to endeavour the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, ... superstition, heresy, schism, &c. &c. according to our various places and callings,) we have vowed to God that we will never befriend nor flatter this work of the flesh (Gal. 5.20,) but seek to root it out by those means that pertain to each man in his particular vocation. Our Sovereign, JESUS CHRIST, is jealous of the fulfillment of these (and many other) obligations, which his Church once openly professed. Those who have understanding of the times, as well as the history of Christ's Church, may easily tell that ever since the Toleration of this Heresy, the Church of JESUS CHRIST has been plagued therewith, so that at this day our Righteous God has made this such a plague to us, that howsoever much it is tolerated, flattered, and set up, thus much it flourishes more and more; and those who are most guilty of the tolerating, flattering, and setting up of this Heresy, are quickly carried away with their pretended liberality, so that by being puffed up (1 Cor. 5), their glorying does blind them, and they see not the spreading of Arminianism as a leavening of the lump with the Leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees, but as a "spreading of Christianity" itself! And thus they continue, who repent not, until they themselves are so infected, that they account Arminianism itself as Christianity.

Let the following document be a warning to all Christians to hold fast the Truth of the Gospel. It is a warning to all Reformed Christians to be very tender of all that offends against these points, and to loath everything that savours of another gospel. And it is also a warning to those who fellowship with modern latitudinarian churches or subject themselves and their families to such pastors, that they take heed of the danger of feeding among flocks that are shepherded by wolves, or at best, by hirelings who will flee when the wolves come. But above all, this Document is a Testimony for the Truth of the Gospel by those to whom it was more precious than the friendship of this world, and the false peace that is maintained by an allowance of pretended liberty of conscience. Not only is one here to find a wall of defence to keep back the assaults of Satan's servants, nor not only a remedy for the present doctrinal corruptions of the Church of Jesus Christ, but here is found food for the soul in the declaration of God's Free & Sovereign Grace whereby the child of God is most endeared to his Heavenly Father for Sure & Certain Salvation through the Blood of Jesus Christ.


 
THE
I V D G E M E N T
O F   T H E   N A T I O N A L L
SYNODE of the Reformed Belgique
Churches, assembled at DORT,
ANNO 1618. and 1619.

In  which  S Y N O D E  were  admitted
many Diuines of note, being of
the Reformed Churches.

Of GREAT BRITAINE,
Of the Countie Palatine of RHENE,
Of HASSIA,
Of HELVETIA,
Of the Correspondence of WETERAV.
Of GENEVA,
Of BREME, and
Of EMBDEN,
Concerning the fiue Articles controuer-
ted in the Belgique Churches:

Published (by reading in Latine in the great Church
at DORT) May 6. 1619. stylo nouo.

¶Englished out of the Latine copie.


THE PREFACE.

I N   T H E   N A M E   O F
our  Lord  and  Sauiour
IESVS  CHRIST.
Amen.

AMONGST the manifold comforts, which our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ hath imparted to his Church militant in this troublesome pilgrimage, that is deservedly extolled which he left unto her at his departure to his Father into the heavenly Sanctuary, {} saying, I am with you always unto the end of the world. The truth of this comfortable promise is manifested from time to time in all ages of the Church, which having from the beginning been oppugned, not only by the open violence of enemies, and impiety of hereticks, but further by the underhand cunning of seducers, certainly, if at any time the Lord should have left her destitute of the guard of his saving presence, she had now long since been either oppressed by the power of tyrants, or, to her utter overthrow, seduced by the fraud of imposters.

But that good shepherd, who loves his flock to the end, for whom he hath laid down his life, hath always opportunity, and many times miraculously, {} with an outstretched arm, repressed the rage of persecutors, and discovered the winding by-paths of seducers, and scattered their fraudulent purposes; by each of which he hath evidently shewed himself to be present in his Church. Fair evidence hereof is given in the histories concerning godly Emperors, Kings, and Princes, whom the Son of God hath so often raised up for the safeguard of his Church, and inflamed with a holy zeal of his house; and by their means hath not only curbed the fury of tyrants, but also, in his Church’s behalf, when it grappled with false teachers, diversly corrupting religion, hath procured the remedy of sacred Synods: wherein the faithful servants of Christ have jointly with their prayers, counsels, {} & labours courageously stood for God’s Church, and his truth, fearlessly opposed the instruments of Satan, howsoever changing themselves into Angels of light, rooted up the weeds of errours, and dissension, preserved the Church in agreement of the pure religion, and left unto posterity the sincere worship of God uncorrupted.

With like favour our faithful Saviour hath given a testimony of his gracious presence at this time to the long distressed Church of the Low-Countries. For this Church being by God’s mighty hand set free from the tyranny of the Romish Antichrist, & from the fearful idolatry of Popery, so often wonderfully preserved amidst the dangers of a long-continuing war, and flourishing in the concord of true {} doctrine, and of discipline to the praise of her God, the admirable increase of the weal-publick, and joy of all other reformed Churches, hath first covertly, afterwards openly, with manifold both old and new errors been assaulted by one James Harmans, alias Arminius, and his followers, assuming the title of Remonstrants, and brought into so great hazard through the ceaseless turmoils of scandalous dissentions, and schisms, that, had not our Saviour’s merciful hand in time been interposed, these flourishing Churches had been utterly consumed with the horrible flames of discord and schism. But blessed for ever be the Lord, who, after he had for a while hidden his countenance from us (who had many ways provoked his {} wrath and indignation) hath witnessed to the whole world, that he is not forgetful of his covenant, and despiseth not the sighs of his people.

For when in man’s understanding scarce any hope of remedy appeared, God did put into the minds of the most illustrious and mighty LL. the States General of the united Provinces, by the counsel and direction of the most renowned, and valiant Prince of Orange, to determine to meet with these outrageous mischiefs by such lawful means as have been long time approved by the example of the Apostles themselves, and of the Christian Church following them; and also heretofore with great benefit used even in the Belgic Church itself: and by their authority {} to call together a Synod out of all the Provinces subject to their government, to be assembled at Dort: many most grave Divines being entreated thereto, and obtained by the favour of the most high and mighty JAMES, King of Great Britain, and of most illustrious and potent Princes, Landgraves, and Commonwealths, that by the common judgment of so many Divines of the reformed Churches, those opinions of Arminius, and his followers might accurately be examined, and determined of by the rule of God’s word only, the true doctrine established, and the false rejected, and concord, peace, and tranquility (by God’s blessing) restored to the Church of the Low-Countries. This is that good gift of {} God, wherein the Belgic Churches triumph, and both humbly confess, and thankfully profess the never-failing mercies of their Saviour.

Wherefore (a fast, and publick prayers being formerly enjoined and performed in all the Belgic Churches by the authority of the chief Magistrate, for the deprecation of God’s anger, and imploring his gracious aid) this venerable Synod, assembled together at Dort in the name of the Lord, inflamed with the love of God’s honour, and salvation of his Church, and upon the invocation of God’s holy name bound by oath, that they would hold the sacred Scripture as the only rule of their verdict, and demean themselves in the hearing and determining of this cause with a {} good and upright conscience, hath diligently and with great patience labored herein, to persuade the chief patrons of these assertions, cited to appear before them, more largely to unfold their opinion concerning the five notorious controverted Articles, as also the reasons of such their opinion. But they rejecting the judgment of the Synod, and refusing to answer to interrogatories in such manner as was fitting: when as neither the admonitions of the Synod, nor instance of the generous and worthy Deputies of the States General, nay nor the command of the most illustrious & mighty Lords the States General themselves, could prevail any thing at all with them; the Synod, by the commandment of the said Lords, the {} States General, was fain to take another course, heretofore used and received in ancient Synods. And so the search of their Tenets concerning the five Articles was undertaken out of their own Books, Confessions, and Declarations partly heretofore set forth, partly now exhibited to this Synod.

Which search, and examination being now by God’s singular mercy dispatched, and finished with all diligence, conscience, and faithfulness, and with the joint consent of all and every one; this Synod for the advancement of God’s glory, for the upholding of that truth which leadeth to salvation, and for the maintaining of peace and tranquility as well in men’s consciences, as in the Belgic Churches, {} determineth to publish this their Judgment; wherein the true doctrine agreeable with God’s word, touching the five foresaid heads of doctrine is declared, and the false and disagreeing with God’s word, is rejected; as followeth. {}


T H E   D O C T R I N E
OF
P R E D E S T I N A T I O N,
and the points thereto
annexed,
(W H I C H   T H E   S Y N O D
of  D O R T  iudgeth  to  be  agreeable  to
Gods word, and hitherto to have beene
receiued in the Reformed
Churches)

Layd open in certaine Articles.


THE
F I R S T   C H A P T E R
or  head  of  Doctrine,  namely
concerning Gods Prede-
stination.

The first Article
FORASMUCH as all men have sinned in Adam, and are become guilty of the curse, and eternal death, God had done wrong unto no man, if it had pleased him to leave all mankind in sin, and under the curse, and to condemn them for sin: according to those words of the Apostle, Rom. 3.19, All the world is guilty before God. And verse 23, All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. And Rom. 6.23, The wages of sin is death. [Rom. 5.12.]

II.
But herein was the love of God made manifest, In that he sent his only begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have life everlasting, 1 John 4.9; John 3.16.

III.
And that men may be brought unto faith, God in mercy sends Preachers of this most joyful {4} message, to whom he will, and when he will: by whose ministry, men are called unto repentance and faith in Christ crucified, Rom. 10.14,15, How shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent? [Isa. 52.7; 1 Cor. 1.23,24.]

IV.
Whosoever believe not these glad tidings, the wrath of God remains upon them: but they which receive them, and embrace our Saviour Jesus with a true and lively faith, they are delivered by him from the wrath of God, and destruction, and eternal life is given them. [John 3.36; Mark 16.16; Rom. 10.9.]

V.
The cause, or fault of this unbelief, as of all other sins, is in no wise in God, but in man. But faith in Jesus Christ, and salvation through him is the free gift of God, as it is written, Ephes. 2.8, By grace ye are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. In like manner, Phil. 1.29, Unto you it is (freely) given to believe in Christ. [Heb. 4.6.]

VI.
But whereas in process of time, God bestoweth faith on some, and not on others, this proceeds from his eternal decree. For from the beginning of the world God knoweth all his works, Acts 15.18; Eph. 1.11. According to which decree, he graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however otherwise hard, and as for those that {5} are not elect, he in just judgment leaveth them to their malice and hardness. [Acts 13.48.]

And here especially is discovered unto us the deep, and both merciful and just difference put between men, equally lost; that is to say, the decree of Election, and Reprobation, revealed in God’s Word. Which as perverse, impure, and wavering men do wrest unto their own destruction, so it affords unspeakable comfort to godly, and religious souls. [1 Pet. 2.8.]

VII.
Now Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, by which, before the foundation of the world, according to the most free pleasure of his will, and of his mere grace, out of all mankind, fallen, through their own fault, from their first integrity into sin and destruction, he hath chosen in Christ unto salvation a set number of certain men, neither better, nor more worthy than others, but lying in the common misery with others: which Christ also from all eternity he appointed the Mediator, and Head of all the Elect, and foundation of salvation; and so he decreed to give them to him to be saved, and by his Word, and Spirit, effectually to call, and draw them to a communion with him: that is, to give them a true faith in him, to justify, sanctify, and finally glorify them, being mightily kept in the communion of his Son, to the demonstration of his mercy, and praise of the riches of his glorious grace, as it is written, Ephes. 1.4,5,6, {6} He hath chosen us in (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved; and Rom. 8.30, Whom he hath predestinated, them also he hath called, and whom he hath called, them also he hath justified, & whom he hath justified, them also he will glorify. [Eph. 1.4,11; John 17.2,12,24; John 6.37,44; 1 Cor. 1.9.]

VIII.
This Election is not manifold, but one and the same of all, which are to be saved, both under the old, & new Testament, because the Scripture speaks but of one only good-pleasure, purpose, and counsel, of the will of God, by which he hath chosen us from eternity both unto grace, and glory, both unto salvation, and the way of salvation, which he hath prepared, that we should walk therein. [Deut. 7.7; Deut. 9.6; Eph. 1.4,5; Eph. 2.10.]

IX.
This said Election was made, not upon foresight of faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or of any other good quality, or disposition (as a cause or condition before required in man to be chosen) but unto faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, &c. And therefore Election is the fountain of all saving good; from whence faith, holiness, and the residue of saving gifts, lastly everlasting life itself, do flow, as the fruits, and effects thereof; according to that {7} of the Apostle, Ephes. 1.4, He hath chosen us, (not because we were, but) that we should be holy, & without blame before him in love. [Rom. 8.30.]

X.
The true cause of this free Election is the good-pleasure of God, not consisting herein, that, from among all possible means, he chose some certain qualities, or actions of men as a condition of salvation: but herein, that out of the common multitude of sinners he culled [separated] out to himself, for his own peculiar, some certain persons, or men; as it is written, Rom. 9.11, Ere the children were born, when they had neither done good nor evil, &c. It was said unto her (namely to Rebecca) The elder shall serve the younger, as it is written, I have loved Jacob and hated Esau, and Acts 13.48, As many, as were ordained to eternal life, believed. [Rom. 9.11-13; Gen. 25.23; Mal. 1.2,3.]

XI.
And as God himself is most wise, unchangeable, omniscient, and omnipotent: so the Election made by him can neither be interrupted nor changed, revoked, nor disannulled, the elect cast away, nor their number diminished. [John 6.37; John 10.28.]

XII.
Of this their eternal, and immutable election unto salvation, the elect, in their time (although by several degrees, and in a different measure) are assured, and that, not by searching curiously, into the depths and secrets of God, but by observing in themselves, with spiritual joy and holy {8} pleasure, the infallible fruits of election, signed out unto us in God’s word, such as are, a true faith in Christ, a filial fear of God, grief for our sins according to God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, &c. [Deut. 29.29; 1 Cor. 2.10,11; 2 Cor. 13.5; 2 Cor. 7.10; Matt. 5.6.]

XIII.
Out of sense, & certainty of this election, the children of God daily draw more & more matter of humbling themselves before God, of adoring the depth of his mercies, of purifying themselves, and of loving him fervently, who first loved them so much: so far is this doctrine of election, & the meditation thereof, from making them carnally secure, backward in observing God’s commandments. Which abuse by God’s just judgment is wont to befall those, who either rashly presume, or vainly and malapertly prate of the grace of election, refusing withall to walk in the ways of the elect. [1 John 3.3; 1 John 4.19.]

XIV.
And as this doctrine touching God’s election was by God’s appointment declared by the Prophets, Christ himself, and the Apostles, aswell under the old Testament, as the new, and afterwards commended to the records of holy Writ: so at this day in God’s Church (for which it is peculiarly ordained) it is to be propounded with the spirit of discretion, religiously, and holily, in its place and time, without any curious searching into the ways of the most High, and that to the glory of God’s most holy name, and lively comfort of his people. [Acts 20.27; Job 36.23-26; Rom. 11.33; Rom. 12.3; 1 Cor. 4.6.] {9}

XV.
Moreover, the holy Scripture herein chiefly manifests, and commends unto us this eternal and free grace of our election, in that it further witnesseth, that not all men are elected, but some not-elected, or passed over in God’s eternal election, whom doubtless God in his most free, most just, unreproveable, and unchangeable good-pleasure hath decreed to leave in the common misery (whereinto by their own default they precipitated themselves) and not to bestow saving faith, and the grace of conversion upon them, but leaving them in their own ways, and under just judgment, at last to condemn, and everlastingly punish them, not only for their unbelief, but also for their own sins, to the manifestation of his justice. And this is the decree of Reprobation, which in no wise makes God the author of sin (a thing blasphemous once to conceive) but a fearful, unreproveable, and just Judge, and revenger. [Rom. 9.22; 1 Pet. 2.8; Acts 14.16.]

XVI.
Those who as yet do not effectually perceive in themselves a lively faith, or a sure confidence of heart in Christ, the peace of conscience, and endeavour of filial obedience, a glorying in God through Christ, and nevertheless use the means, by which God hath promised, that he will work these things in us, such as these ought not to be cast down at the mention of Reprobation, nor reckon themselves amongst the reprobate, but must {10} diligently go forward in the use of those means, & ardently desire, and humbly & reverently expect the good hour of more plentiful grace. Much less then ought those to be terrified with the doctrine of Reprobation, who, albeit they heartily desire to turn unto God, to please him only, and be delivered from this body of death, yet cannot make such progress in the way of godliness, and faith, as they wish. For our merciful God hath promised that he will not quench the smoking flax, nor break the shaken reed: But to those, who forgetting God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, have wholly enthralled themselves to the cares of the world, and pleasures of the flesh, this doctrine is not without cause terrible, so long as they are not seriously converted unto God. [James 2.26; 2 Cor. 1.12; Rom. 5.11; Phil. 3.3; Rom. 7.24; Isa. 42.3; Matt. 12.20; Matt. 13.22; Heb. 12.29.]

XVII.
Seeing we must judge of God’s will by his word, which testifies unto us that the children of the faithful are holy, not in their own nature, but by benefit of the gracious covenant, wherein they together with their parents are comprised; godly parents ought not to doubt of the election and salvation of their children, whom God calls out of this life in their infancy. [Gen. 17.7; Isa. 59.21; Acts 2.39; 1 Cor. 7.14.]

XVIII.
Whosoever murmurs at this grace of free election, and severity of just Reprobation, we stop his mouth with that of the Apostle, Rom. 9.20, O man who art thou, that repliest against God? And {11} that of our Saviour, Matth. 20.15, Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? But we for our part, religiously adoring these mysteries, cry out with the Apostle, Rom. 11.33-36, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom, and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out? For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his Counsellor? Or who hath given to him first, and it shall be recompensed to him again? For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to him be glory forever. Amen. [Job 34.34-37.]


A    R E I E C T I O N    O F
the Errors wherwith the Chur-
ches of the Low-Countries haue now a
long time beene troubled.

The Synode having deliuered the Or-
thodoxe doctrine concerning Election
and Reprobation, reiects the
errours of those,

First,
WHO teach, that the will of God to save such as shall believe, and persevere in faith, and the obedience of faith, is the whole and entire decree of Election unto salvation, and that nothing else concerning {12} this decree is revealed in the word of God. For these teachers deceive the simpler sort, and plainly gainsay the holy Scripture, which witnesseth, that God not only will save such as shall believe: but also from eternity hath chosen some certain men, upon whom, rather than others, he would bestow faith in Christ, and perseverance; as it is written, John 17.6, I have declared thy name unto the men which thou gavest me. In like manner, Acts 13.48, As many as were ordained unto eternal life, believed. And Eph. 1.4, He hath chosen us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, &c.

II.
Which teach, that the election of God unto salvation is manifold, one general and indefinite, another singular, and definite: and this again either incomplete revocable, not-peremptory, or conditional: or else complete, irrevocable, peremptory, or absolute. Likewise that there is one election unto faith, another unto salvation: so that election unto justifying faith may be without peremptory election unto salvation: For this is a figment of man’s brain devised without any ground in the Scripture, corrupting the doctrine of election, and breaking that golden chain of salvation. Rom. 8.30, Whom he hath predestinated, them also he hath called, and whom he hath called, them also he hath justified, and whom he hath justified, them also he hath glorified.

III.
Who teach, that the good pleasure and purpose of God, whereof the Scripture makes mention in the {13} doctrine of election, doth not consist herein, that God did elect some certain men rather than others; but in this, viz. that God from among all possible conditions (amongst which are the works of the Law also) or out of the rank of all things did choose, as a condition unto salvation, the act of faith (in itself ignoble) and the imperfect obedience of faith, and was graciously pleased to repute it for perfect obedience, and account it worthy of the reward of everlasting life. For by this pernicious error, the good pleasure of God, and merit of Christ is weakened (besides that, by such unprofitable questions men are called off from the truth of free Justification, and from the single plainness of the Scriptures;) and that of the Apostle is outfaced as untrue, 2 Tim. 1.9, God hath called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us through Christ Jesus before the world began.

IV.
Who teach, that in the election unto faith this condition is formerly required, viz. That a man use the light of reason aright, that he be honest, lowly, humble, and disposed unto life eternal, as though in some sort election depended on these things. For these teachers have a strong tang [savour] of Pelagius, and, broadly enough, tell the Apostle that he is wide [of the mark], when he saith, Ephes. 2.3, &c. We all had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling {14} the will of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, as well as others. But God which is rich in mercy, through his great love, wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that he might shew in the ages to come the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Jesus Christ. For by grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any one should boast.

V.
Who teach, that the incomplete and not-peremptory Election of singular persons is made by reason of foreseen faith, repentance, sanctity, and godliness begun, or continued for some time: but the complete, and peremptory election by reason of the final perseverance of foreseen faith, repentance, sanctity, and godliness; and that this is the gracious, and Evangelical worthiness, by which he that is chosen, becomes worthier than he that is not chosen: and therefore that faith, the obedience of faith, sanctity, godliness, and perseverance are not the fruits or effects of unchangeable election unto glory, but conditions and causes, sine quibus non (that is to say, without which a thing is not brought to pass) before required, and foreseen, as already performed by those, who are completely to be chosen. A thing repugnant to the whole {15} Scripture, which everywhere beats into our ears and hearts, these and such like sayings. Rom. 9.11, Election is not of works, but of him that calleth: Acts 13.48, As many as were ordained unto life eternal believed. Ephesians 1.4, He hath chosen us that we should be holy. John 15.16, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. Rom. 11.6, If of grace, not of works. 1 John 4.10, Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he first loved us, and sent his son, &c.

VI.
Who teach, that not all election unto salvation is unchangeable, but that some which are elected, withstanding God’s decree, may perish, and forever do perish: By which gross error they both make God mutable, and overthrow the comfort of the godly concerning the certainty of their salvation, and contradict the holy Scriptures teaching, Matt. 24.24, that the elect cannot be seduced. John 6.39, that Christ doth not lose those which are given to him of his father. Rom. 8.30, That God whom he hath predestinated, called, justified, them he doth also glorify.

VII.
Who teach, that in this life there is no fruit, no sense, no certainty of immutable election unto glory, but upon condition, contingent, and mutable. For {16} besides that it is absurd to make an uncertain certainty, these things are contrary to the experience of the godly: who with the Apostle, triumph upon the sense of their election, and extol this benefit of God, who rejoice, with the disciples, according to the admonition of Christ, Luke 10.20, that their names are written in heaven: and lastly who oppose the sense of their election against the fiery darts of devilish temptations, demanding, Rom. 8.33, Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?

VIII.
Who teach, that God out of his mere just will hath not decreed to leave any man in the fall of Adam, and common state of sin and damnation, or to pass over any in the communication of grace necessary unto faith and conversion. For that stands firm, Rom. 9.18, He hath compassion upon whom he will, and whom he will he hardens. And that, Matth. 13.11, To you is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. In like manner, Matth. 11.25,26, I glorify thee, o Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise, and understanding men, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, o Father, because thy good pleasure was such. {17}

IX.
Who teach, that the cause, why God sends the Gospel rather unto this Nation than to another, is not the mere and only good pleasure of God, but because this Nation is better, and more worthy of it than that, unto which he hath not communicated the Gospel. For Moses gainsays this, speaking thus unto the people of Israel, Deut. 10.14,15, Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, and the earth with all that therein is; notwithstanding the Lord set his delight in thy fathers to love them, and did choose their seed after them, even you above all people, as appeareth this day. And Christ, Matth. 11.21, Woe be to thee, Corazin, woe be to thee Bethsaida: for if the great works which were done in you, had been done in Tyrus, and Sidon, they had repented long agone in sackcloth and ashes. [Deut. 7.6-8.] {18}


T H E
S E C O N D   C H A P T E R
or   head   of   Doctrine,   concerning
Christ’s death and the redemption
of men by it.

The first Article.
GOD is not only most merciful, but most just also. Now his justice requires (as he hath revealed himself in his word) that our sins committed against his infinite Majesty, be punished not with temporal pains only, but eternal also, and those both of body and soul: which punishments we cannot escape, unless God’s justice be satisfied. [Exod. 34.6,7; Rom. 5.16; Gal. 3.10.]

II.
But seeing we ourselves cannot make satisfaction, and free ourselves from the wrath of God, God of his infinite mercy hath given his only begotten son to become a surety for us, who, that he might satisfy for us, was made sin, and a curse upon the cross for us, or in our stead. [John 3.16; Rom. 5.8; 2 Cor. 5.21; Gal. 3.13.]

III.
This death of the son of God is the only, and most perfect sacrifice, and satisfaction {19} for sins, of infinite price, and value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world. [Heb. 9.26,28; Heb. 10.14; 1 John 2.2.]

IV.
And therefore this death is of so great value and price, because the person, which suffered it, is not only a true, and perfectly holy man, but the only begotten son of God also, of the same eternal, and infinite essence with the Father, and the holy Ghost: such an one as it behooved our Saviour to be. Again [and moreover], because his death was joined with a feeling of God’s wrath and of the curse, which we had deserved by our sins. [Heb. 4.15; Heb. 7.26; 1 John 4.9; Matt. 27.46.]

V.
Furthermore it is the promise of the Gospel: That whosoever believes in Christ crucified, should not perish, but have life everlasting: Which promise together with the injunction of repentance and faith, ought promiscuously, and without distinction, to be declared and published to all men and people, to whom God in his good pleasure sends the Gospel. [John 3.16; 1 Cor. 1.23; Matt. 28.19; Acts 2.38; Acts 16.31.]

VI.
But forasmuch as many being called by the Gospel do not repent, nor believe in Christ, but perish in their infidelity, this comes not to pass for want of, or by any insufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ offered upon the cross, but by their own proper fault. [Matt. 22.14; Psalm 95.11; Heb. 4.6.] {20}

VII.
But as many as truly believe, and are freed by Christ’s death from their sins, and saved from destruction; they by God’s grace alone (which he owes to no man) given unto them from eternity in Christ, obtain this benefit. [2 Cor. 5.18; Eph. 2.8,9.]

VIII.
For this was the most free counsel, gracious will, and intention of God the Father, that the lively and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his son should manifest itself in all the elect, for the bestowing upon them only justifying faith, and bringing them infallibly by it unto eternal life; that is, God willed, that Christ by the blood of his cross (whereby he was to establish a new covenant) should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all them, and them only, who from eternity were elected unto salvation, and given to him of the Father, that he should bestow faith on them (which as also the other saving gifts of the holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death) that by his blood he should cleanse them from all sins both original, and actual, as well committed after, as before they believed, and finally should present them before him in glory without all spot, or blemish. [John 17.9; Eph. 5.25-27; Luke 22.20; Heb. 8.6; Rev. 5.9; 1 John 1.7; John 10.28; Eph. 5.27.]

IX.
This counsel proceeding from his eternal love toward the elect, the gates of Hell bootlessly [without profit] {21} resisting it, hath from the beginning of the world to this present time, been mightily fulfilled, & hereafter also shall be fulfilled: so that the elect in their times must be gathered into one, and there must always be some Church of the believers founded in the blood of Christ, which constantly loving, steadfastly worshiping, and here and forever and ever praising him her Saviour, who laid down his life upon the Cross for her, as the bridegroom for his bride. [Matt. 16.18; John 11.52; 1 Kings 19.18; Eph. 5.25.]


A   R E I E C T I O N
of the Errours.

The Synod having delivered the Or-
thodoxe doctrine, reiecteth the errours of them;

First.
WHO teach, that God the Father ordained his Son unto the death of the cross without any certain & determinate counsel of saving any particular man expressly; so that it’s necessity, profit, and dignity, might have remained whole, and sound, & perfect, in every respect, complete, and entire, to the impetration of Christ’s death, although the obtained redemption had never actually been applied to any particular person. For this assertion is reproachful unto the wisdom of God the Father, & the merit of Jesus Christ, & contrary to the Scripture; Where our Saviour Christ saith, John 10.15, I lay down {22} my life for my sheep; (verse 27,) And I know them. And the Prophet Isaiah speaks thus of our Saviour: Isa. 53.10, When he shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, and prolong his days, & the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Lastly, it overthrows an article of our faith: namely that, wherein we believe, that there is a Church.

II.
Who teach, that this was not the end of Christ’s death, that he might establish a new covenant of grace by his blood, but that he might only procure unto his Father the bare right of making again with men any covenant whatsoever, whether of grace, or of works. For this thwarteth the Scripture, which teaches that Christ is made the surety, and mediator of a better, that is, a new covenant, Heb. 7.22; & Heb. 9.15,17, The Testament is confirmed when men are dead.

III.
Who teach, that Christ by his satisfaction did not certainly merit for any man salvation itself, & faith, by which the satisfaction of Christ may be effectually applied unto salvation, but only, that he purchased to his Father a power, or resolution to enter into a new match [agreement] with mankind, & to prescribe them what new conditions soever he pleased: the performance of which conditions should depend upon man’s free will, & that therefore it might fall out that either no man, or every man might fulfill them. For these esteem too too basely of Christ’s death, in no wise acknowledging the chiefest, and most excellent fruit, and benefit procured thereby, & call up again the Pelagian error out of hell. {23}

IV.
Who teach, that the new Covenant of grace which God the Father, by the mediation of Christ’s death made with men, doth not consist herein, viz. That we are justified before God, and saved by faith, insomuch as it apprehends the merit of Christ: but herein, viz. that God, the exaction of perfect legal obedience being abrogated, reputes faith itself, & the imperfect obedience of faith for perfect obedience of the law, and graciously thinks it worthy of the reward of eternal life. For these contradict the scripture, Rom. 3.24,25, All are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a reconciliation through faith in his blood. And, with wicked Socinus, they bring in an uncouth and strange justification of man before God, contrary to the consent of the whole Church.

V.
Who teach, that all men are received into the state of reconciliation & grace of the covenant, so that nobody shall be condemned for original sin, nor, in respect of it, be liable unto death or damnation, but that all are acquitted, and freed from the guilt of that sin. For this opinion is contrary to the Scripture, which affirms, that we are by nature the children of wrath.

VI.
Who employ the distinction of impetration [obtaining], & application to the end that they may infuse this opposition into unskillful and unwary wits, namely; that God, as much concerns him, would confer {24} upon all men equally these benefits, which are procured by Christ’s death. And whereas some, rather than others, are made partakers of forgiveness of sins, and life eternal, that this diversity depends upon their own freewill, applying itself unto grace indifferently offered: but not upon the singular gift of mercy, effectually working in them rather than others, that they may apply this grace unto themselves. For they, whilest they bear the world in hand, that they propound this distinction with a sound meaning, go about to make the people drink of the poisonous cup of Pelagianism. [1 Cor. 4.7.]

VII.
Who teach, that Christ neither could, nor ought to die, neither did die for those, whom God dearly loved, and chose unto eternal life, seeing such stood in no need of Christ’s death. For they contradict the Apostle, who saith; Gal. 2.20, Christ loved me, and gave himself for me. In like manner, Rom. 8.33, Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s chosen? it is God that justifieth, who shall condemn? it is Christ which is dead, to wit, for them. And our Saviour averring, John 10.15, I lay down my life for my sheep. And John 15.12,13, This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you: greater love than this hath no man, that a man lay down his life for his friends. {25}


T H E   T H I R D   A N D
Fourth Chapters, or Do-
ctrinall Heads, namely,
concerning
M A N S   C O R R V P T I O N,
And conuersion to God, together vvith
the manner thereof.

The first Article.
MAN in the beginning, being made according to God’s Image, was adorned in his mind with true, and saving knowledge of his Creator, and of things spiritual, in his will and heart with righteousness, in all his affections with purity; and so was in all his parts, and faculties holy: But he, by the Devil’s instigation, and liberty of his own will, revolting from God, bereaved himself of these excellent gifts, and contrariwise, in lieu of them, he gat in his mind horrible darkness, vanity, and crookedness of judgment, in his heart and will, malice, rebellion, and obduration, and in all his affections impurity. [Gen. 1.26,27; Gen. 3.1-7; Eph. 4.17-19.]

II.
And such as man was after his fall, such children he begat, namely a corrupt issue from a corrupt {26} father, this corruption being by the just judgment of God derived from Adam to all his posterity (Christ only excepted) and that not by imitation (as of old the Pelagians would have it) but by the propagation of nature with her infection. [Job 14.4; Psalm 51.7; Rom. 5.12; Heb. 4.15.]

III.
All men therefore are conceived in sin, and born the children of wrath, untoward [froward, perverse] to all good tending to salvation, forward to evil, dead in sins, slaves of sin; and neither will, nor can (without the grace of the holy Ghost regenerating them) set straight their own crooked nature, no not so much as dispose themselves to the amending of it. [Eph. 2.1,3; John 8.34; Rom. 6.16,17; John 3.3-6; Titus 3.5.]

IIII.
Certes [to be sure], there are still in lapsed man some remnants of the light of nature, by virtue whereof he retaineth some principles concerning God, & of things natural, and of the difference between good and evil, as also he sheweth some care of virtue, and of outward discipline: But so far short is he from being enabled by this inbred light, to come to the saving knowledge of God, and to convert himself unto him, that he doth not make right use thereof in natural things, and civil affairs: nay, that which it is, he many ways defileth it all, and withholdeth it in unrighteousness; and by so doing becometh inexcusable before God. [Rom. 1.19,20; Acts 2.14,15; Rom. 1.18,20.] {27}

V.
As it is with him for the light of nature, so is it also touching the Decalogue, or ten Commandments, delivered to the Jews from God in special manner by the hand of Moses. For, inasmuch as the Law doth indeed lay open the grievousness of sin, and more and more deeply attainteth [convicts] man at the bar of Justice, but neither reacheth forth any remedy, nor affordeth strength to wade out of misery, and so being weakened through the flesh, it leaveth a sinner under the curse, it is not possible that by it a man should obtain saving grace. [Rom. 3.19,20; Rom. 7.10,13; Rom. 8.3; 2 Cor. 3.6,7.]

VI.
That therefore, which neither the light of nature, nor the Law could do, God bringeth to pass by the power of the holy Ghost, through his word, or the ministry of Reconciliation, namely the Gospel concerning the Messiah, whereby it pleased God to save those that believe, aswell under the Old, as New Testament. [2 Cor. 5.18,19; 1 Cor. 1.21.]

VII.
Under the old Testament God disclosed unto but a few this secret of his will, but in the new (the distinction of people being taken away) he manifesteth the same unto many. The cause of which his divers dispensations is not to be imputed to the worthiness of one nation above another, or to the better using of the light of nature by some than by other-some, but to God’s most free good-pleasure, & undeserved love. And therefore {28} they, to whom, without any their good desert, nay, notwithstanding their ill desert, so great a favour is vouchsafed, are bound for their part, to acknowledge the same with all humility, and thankfulness, and as for others, to whom such grace is not afforded, without curious sifting, to admire (with the Apostle) the severity and justice of God’s judgments upon them. [Eph. 1.9; Eph. 2.14; Col. 3.11; Rom. 2.11; Matt. 11.26; Rom. 11.22,23; Rev. 16.7; Deut. 29.29.]

VIII.
Now, as many soever as are called by the Gospel, are called seriously. For God by his word doth seriously, and most truly declare, what is acceptable to him, namely, that those that are called, come unto him: and moreover doth seriously promise to all such, as come to him, and believe in him, rest for their souls, and life eternal. [Isa. 55.1; Matt. 22.4; Rev. 22.17; John 6.37; Matt. 11.28,29; Phil. 1.29.]

IX.
Whereas many, being called by the Gospel, do not come, and are not converted, this default is not in the Gospel, nor in Christ offered by the Gospel, nor in God, who calleth them by his Gospel, and moreover bestoweth divers special gifts upon them, but in themselves, that are [thus outwardly] called; of whom some are so careless, that they given no entrance at all to the word of life: others entertain it, but suffer it not to sink into their hearts, and so, having only a fading smack of joy, bred by a temporary faith, afterward become revolters: others choke the seed of the word with the thorns of worldly cares, and fleshly pleasures, and so bring forth no fruit at all, {29} as our Saviour teacheth us in the parable of the sower, Matth. 13. [Matt. 11.20-24; 22.1-8; Matt. 23.3.]

X.
But whereas others, being called by the ministry of the Gospel, do come, and are converted, this is not to be ascribed unto man, as by his freewill differencing himself from others, enabled with the same, or with like sufficient grace for their belief, and conversion (so Pelagius, in the pride of his heresy, would have it) but must be attributed unto God, who, as he hath from all eternity chosen in Christ those, that are his, so in process of time effectually calleth them, enduing them with the gift of faith, and repentance, and delivering them out of the power of darkness, translateth them into the kingdom of his Son, to the end, that they should magnify him, who hath so mightily called them out of darkness, into this wondrous light, and that they should not boast in themselves, but in the Lord, as is often avouched by the Apostle, in many passages of his Epistles. [Rom. 9.16; Col. 1.13; Gal. 1.4; 1 Pet. 2.9; 1 Cor. 1.31; 2 Cor. 10.17; Eph. 2.8,9.]

XI.
Furthermore, whereas God bringeth to pass this his own good-pleasure in the Elect, namely, when he worketh true conversion in them, he not only provideth that the Gospel may be outwardly preached unto them, and powerfully enlighteneth their minds by the holy Ghost, that they may understand aright, and judge of the {30} things of the Spirit of God; but also, by the efficacy of the same regenerating spirit, he pierceth into the most inward parts of man, whose heart being close shut up, he openeth it, being hard he softeneth it, being uncircumcised he circumciseth it, and, as for the will, he infuseth new qualities into it, and maketh it of a dead heart lively, of an evil good, of a nilling willing, of a stubborn buxome [obedient]; and stirreth it up also, and strengtheneth it, whereby it is enabled, like a good tree, to bring forth the fruits of good works. [Heb. 6.4,5; 1 Cor. 2.10-14; Heb. 4.12; Acts 16.14; Deut. 30.6; Ezek. 11.19; Ezek. 36.26; Matt. 7.18.]

XII.
And this is that regeneration, second creation, raising from the dead, and quickening, (so often inculcated in the holy Scriptures) which God worketh in us, but not with us; and is not brought to pass by bare instruction, sounding to the outward ear, nor by moral inducements, no, nor by any kind of operation so carried, that, when God hath done his part, it should remain in man’s choice to be, or not to be, regenerate; to be, or not to be, converted: but is a very supernatural, a most powerful, and withal most sweet; a wonderful, hidden, and unspeakable working, being, for the mightiness thereof (according to the Scriptures, which are the doubtless word of the very Author of this mighty work) not inferiour to the creation of the world, or raising up the dead. So that all those, {31} in whose hearts God worketh after this admirable manner, are certainly, infallibly, and effectually regenerated, and actually believe.

And then the will, being now renewed, is not only drawn, and moved by God, but God having now set it on going, itself also worketh: Whereupon a man is rightly said, by this grace received, himself to repent, and believe. [John 3.3; 2 Cor. 4.6; 2 Cor. 5.17; Eph. 5.14; John 5.25; Rom. 4.17; Phil. 2.13.]

XIII.
The faithful cannot in this life attain to the full knowledge of the manner of this working: yet in the mean time, they content themselves, and rest in this, namely, that by the same grace of God, they know and feel, that in their hearts they believe, and love their Saviour. [John 3.8; Rom. 10.9.]

XIV.
So then faith is the gift of God; not in that it is proffered by God unto man’s free-will, but because it is really bestowed, inspired, and infused into man: likewise, not as though God did give only a power of believing, and then should wait the leisure of man’s will for consenting, or for the very act of believing; but because both the willingness to believe, and the act itself of belief is wrought in man by him that worketh the will, the deed, and worketh even all in all. [Eph. 2.8; Phil. 2.13.]

XV.
This grace God oweth no man. For how {32} can God become debtor to him, who hath nothing to give first, that it might be recompensed to him again? Nay what can God owe him, who hath nought of his own, but sin and untruth? Whosoever therefore is made partaker of this kind of grace, ever oweth, and ever payeth thanks to God only: and whoso hath it not, he either, framing to himself content in what he findeth in himself, regardeth not all these special things, or in carnal security vainly boasteth of having that, which indeed he hath not.

Furthermore, as for those that make outward profession of the faith, and amend their lives, we are, by the example of the Apostles, to judge and speak the best of them; the closet of the heart being to us unsearchable. But as for those, who are not as yet called, we must pray for them to God, who calleth those things that are not, as if they were: but in no wise may we wax proud against them, as if we ourselves had caused that distinction, whereby we are made unlike them. [Rom. 11.35; Amos 6.1; Jer. 7.4; Rom. 14.10; Rom. 4.17; 1 Cor. 4.7.]

XVI.
On the other side, as by the fall, man ceased not to be man, endued with understanding and will, nor sin, spreading itself through all mankind, did abolish nature with us, but corrupted and spiritually slew it; in like manner this regenerating grace of God worketh not upon men, as if they were stocks and stones, nor doth it abolish {33} the will, and properties thereof, or maugre [violently] constrain it, but doth spiritually revive it, heal, and rectify it, powerfully, and yet gently ply and bend it; so that where formerly the rebellion of the flesh, and stubbornness did domineer without control, now a willing, and sincere obedience to the Spirit begins to reign: in which change the true and spiritual rescue, and freedom of our will doth consist. And surely, unless the wonderful worker of all goodness should deal with us in this sort, there were no hope left for man to arise from his lapse by his free-will, through which, when he stood sound, he threw himself headlong into destruction. [Rom. 8.2; Eph. 2.1; Psalm 51.12; Phil. 2.13.]

XVII.
Moreover, as that powerful operation of God, by which he giveth being to this our natural life, and sustaineth the same, doth not exclude, but require the use of those means, by which it pleaseth God, according to his wisdom and goodness, to employ this his own power: even so the aforesaid supernatural working of God, by which he regenerateth us, doth in no wise exclude, or overthrow the employment of the Gospel, which God, in his great wisdom, hath ordained to be the seed of regeneration, and food of the soul. Wherefore, as the Apostles, and their Successors did {33} piously deliver unto the people the doctrine of this grace of God, for the advancing of his glory, and beating down of all manner of pride; and yet withall neglected not by holy admonitions, taken out of the Gospel, to keep their Christian flocks within the compass of the Word, Sacraments, and exercise of discipline: so in these days also far be it from either teachers, or learners in the Church, to presume to tempt God by disjoining those things, which God, according to his good-pleasure, hath appointed to go together inseparably. For by such admonitions grace itself is derived to us: and the more readily we perform our duty, thereby is the good gift of God working in us made more sensible unto us, and his work itself best cometh to perfection. To the which God alone is due for evermore all the glory of these means, and of the saving fruit, and efficacy of them. Amen. [Isa. 55.10,11; 1 Cor. 1.21; James 1.18; 1 Pet. 1.23,25; 1 Pet. 2.2; Acts 2.42; 2 Cor. 5.11-21; 2 Tim. 4.2; Rom. 10.14-17; Jude 24,25.] {35}



T H E   R E J E C T I O N
of the Errours.

The Synod, having laid down the
true doctrine, now rejecteth the
Errours of those.

First,
THAT teach, that it cannot well be avouched, that original sin of itself is sufficient for the condemning of all mankind, or for the deserving temporal and eternal punishment. For they go against the Apostle, who saith, Rom. 5.12, By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. And verse 16, The judgment was by one to condemnation. Item Rom. 6.23, The wages of sin is death.

II.
That teach, that spiritual gifts, or good qualities and virtues (such as are goodness, holiness, and righteousness,) could not be seated in the will of man, in his first creation, and therefore in his fall the will could not be bereft of them. For this is contrary to the description of the image of God, laid down by the Apostle, Eph. 4.24, where he describeth it by righteousness, & holiness, which doubtless are placed in the will. {36}

III.
That teach, that in spiritual death no spiritual gifts were separated from the will of man, for that the will of itself was never corrupted, but only encumbered by the darkness of the understanding, and unruliness of the affections: which impediments being removed, the will may put in use her own inbred faculty of freedom, that is, of herself will, or nill, choose, or refuse, any kind of good set before her. Verily, this is a newfangled and erroneous piece of doctrine, bent on purpose for the enhancing the forces of Free-will, contrary to that of the Prophet Jeremy, chapter 17, verse 9, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: and that of the Apostle, Eph. 2.3, Among whom (namely, children of disobedience) all we also had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the wills of the flesh, and of the mind.

IV.
That teach, that an unregenerate man is not properly, nor totally dead in sins, nor destitute of all strength tending to spiritual good, but that he is able to hunger and thirst after righteousness, or everlasting life, and to offer the sacrifice of an humble and contrite heart, even such, as is acceptable to God. For these assertions march against the direct testimonies of Scripture, Eph. 2.1,5, Ye were dead in trespasses and sins. And, Gen. 6.5; 8.21, Every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil continually. Moreover the hungering, and thirsting {37} for deliverance out of misery, and for life eternal, as also the offering to God the sacrifice of a broken heart, is proper to the regenerate, and such, as are called blessed, Psalm 51.19; Matth 5.6.

V.
That teach, that a corrupt and natural man can so rightly use common grace (by which they mean the light of nature) or those gifts, which are left in him after the fall, that, by the good use thereof, he may attain to a greater, namely Evangelical, or saving grace, and by degrees at length salvation itself. And that God, for his part, sheweth himself ready in this manner to reveal Christ to all men: seeing he doth sufficiently, & efficaciously afford to every man necessary means for the making Christ known, & for faith & repentance, for this is convinced to be false, as by the experience of all ages in the world, so also by the Scriptures, Psalm 147.19,20, He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes, and his judgments unto Israel; he hath not dealt so with any nation, and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Acts 14.16, God in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Acts 16.6,7, Paul, and his company, were forbidden of the holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, And after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.

VI.
That teach, that in the true conversion of a man there cannot be infused by God any new qualities, habits, or gifts into his will: & so that faith, by which {38} we are first converted, and from which we are styled faithful [believers], is not any quality, or gift, infused by God, but only an act of man: and that this faith cannot be called a gift otherwise than in regard of the power or means given us, of attaining it. For these strange positions are contradictory to the holy Scriptures, which testify unto us, that God doth infuse or shed down into our hearts new qualities of faith, obedience, and sense of his love toward us. Jerem. 31.33, I will put my law into their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. Isa. 44.3, I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed. Rom. 5.5, The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost, which is given unto us. They contradict also the continual practice of the Church which used to pray after the manner described by the Prophet, Convert me, O Lord, and I shall be converted, Jerem. 31.18.

VII.
That teach, that the grace, whereby we are converted unto God, is nothing else but a gentle inducement; or (as others explain it) that the most noble kind of working in man’s conversion, & most suitable to our nature is that, which is performed by suasory motives, or advice: and that no cause can be alleged, why even such moral grace alone, should not of natural men make spiritual: nay moreover, that God doth not produce the consent of our will otherwise, than by way of moral counseling: and that the efficacy of God’s working, wherein he exceedeth the working of the {39} Devil, consisteth in this, that the Devil promiseth temporary things, but God things eternal. For this is down-right Pelagianism, and warreth against the whole course of the Scriptures: which besides this swasory kind of moving, acknowledge in the conversion of a man, another manner working of God’s spirit, and that more divine, & of far greater efficacy, Ezek. 36.26, I will give you a new heart, & a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh, &c.

VIII.
That teach, that God, in regenerating a man, doth not employ that omnipotent strength, whereby he may powerfully & infallibly bow, and bend his will unto faith, and conversion: but that all the gracious operations (which God useth for our conversion) being accomplished, nevertheless man can withstand God, and his holy Spirit, intending that man’s conversion, yea and oftentimes doth make actual resistance, to the utter defeating of his own regeneration: so that it lieth in man’s power to be, or not to be, regenerate. For this amounteth to no less, than the denying all efficacy to God’s grace in our conversion, and to the subjecting the work of the Almighty unto the will of man: which is flat contrary to the doctrine of the Apostles, Ephes. 1.19, That we believe according to the working of his mighty power. And 2 Thess. 1.11, that God fulfilleth all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power. And 2 Pet. 1.3, that God’s power hath given {40} unto us all things, that pertain unto life, and godliness.

IX.
That teach, that grace and free-will are coparcening [co-operating partial] causes, jointly concurring to the beginning of conversion; and that grace doth not in order of causality go before the action of the will: that is, That God doth not effectually help man’s will unto conversion, before the will of man moveth, and determineth or settleth itself thereunto. For this doctrine was long since condemned by the ancient Church, among the Pelagian errors, out of the Apostle’s authority, Rom. 9.16, It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God, that sheweth mercy. And 1 Cor. 4.7, Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Item Phil. 2.13, It is God, which worketh in you, both to will, and to do, of his good pleasure. {41}

 

THE
F I F T H    C H A P T E R,
or Doctrinall head, which is
concerning the perseuerance of
the Saints.

The first Article.
WHOMSOEVER God according to his purpose, calls unto the fellowship of his Son our Lord Jesus Christ, and regenerates by the holy Spirit, those certainly, even in this life, he frees from the dominion of sin, and slavery under sin, but not altogether from the flesh, and body of sin. [John 8.34; Rom. 6.17; Rom. 7.21-24.]

II.
From hence arise in holy men daily sins of infirmity, and even their best works have their blemishes, which yield unto them perpetual matter of humbling themselves before God, of making their recourse unto Christ crucified, of mortifying the flesh more and more by the Spirit of prayer, and by holy and godly exercises, and of striving and sighing after the goal of perfection, so long till, being delivered from this body of death, they may reign with the Lamb of God in the heavens. [1 John 1.8; Col. 3.5; 1 Tim. 4.7; Phil. 3.12,14; Rev. 5.6,10.] {42}

III.
By reason of these relics of sins dwelling in them, and besides this, the temptations of the world, and Satan, they, which are converted could not continue in the state of grace, if they were left to their own strength: but God is faithful, who mercifully confirms them in that grace, wherein he hath once accepted them, and mightily preserveth them in the same, even unto the end. [Rom. 7.20; 1 Cor. 10.13; 1 Pet. 1.5.]

IIII.
But, although that power of God, confirming, and keeping the truly faithful in the state of grace, is greater, than can possibly be overcome by the flesh: nevertheless they, which are converted, are not always so led, and moved by God, that they cannot through their own fault, stray, and depart from the guidance of grace in some particular actions, and be seduced by the concupiscence of the flesh, and give way unto the same. Wherefore they must continually watch, and pray, that they be not led into temptation. Which when they do not, it is not only possible, that they should be carried away by the flesh, the world, and the Devil, into grievous, and heinous sins, but sometimes also, by God’s just permission, they are carried away: Which the lamentable falls of David, Peter, and other of the Saints, described unto us in the Scripture, evidently shew. [Eph. 1.19; Matt. 26.41; 1 Thes. 5.6,17; 2 Sam. 11; Matt. 26.] {43}

V.
Now, by such enormous sin they greatly offend God, incur the guilt of death, grieve the holy Spirit, break off the exercise of faith, most grievously wound the conscience, now & then for a time lose the sense of grace, until, upon their returning into the way by a true and earnest repentance, God’s fatherly countenance shine again upon them. [2 Sam. 12; Eph. 4.30; Psalm 32.3-5; Num. 6.25.]

VI.
For God, who is rich in mercy, according to the unchangeable purpose of election, doth not wholly take away his holy Spirit from his, no not in their grievous slips, nor suffers them to wander so far, as to fall away from the grace of adoption, and state of justification, or to commit the sin unto death, or against the holy Ghost, or to be altogether forsaken of him, and throw themselves headlong into everlasting destruction. [Eph. 1.11; Eph. 2.4; Psalm 51.13; Gal. 4.5; 1 John 5.16-18; Matt. 12.31,32.]

VII.
For first of all, in these slips, he preserveth in them that his immortal seed, (by which they were once born again) that it die not, nor be lost by them: afterward, by his Word, and Spirit, he effectually, and certainly reneweth them again unto repentance, so that they do heartily, and according unto God, grieve for their sins committed, and with a contrite heart, by faith in the blood of the Mediator, craving forgiveness of them, obtain it, recover the apprehension of the {44} favour of God reconciled unto them, adore his mercies and faithfulness, and from thenceforward more carefully work out their salvation with fear and trembling. [1 Pet. 1.23; 1 John 3.9; 2 Cor. 7.10; Psalm 32.5; Psalm 51.19; Phil. 2.12.]

VIII.
So, not by their own merits, or strength, but by God’s free mercy, they obtain thus much, that they neither totally fall from faith, and grace, nor continue to the end in their falls, and perish: which in regard of themselves, not only full easily might, but doubtless would come to pass: yet in respect of God it cannot so fall out; since neither his counsel can be changed, nor his promise fail, nor the calling according to his purpose be revoked, nor Christ’s merit, intercession, and custody be made of none effect, nor the sealing of the holy Spirit be frustrated, or defaced. [Psalm 33.11; Heb. 6.17; Rom. 8.30,34; Rom. 9.11; Luke 22.32; Eph. 1.13.]

IX.
Of this preservation of the elect unto salvation, & perseverance of true believers in the faith, the faithful themselves may be and are ascertained, according to the measure of their faith, by which they assuredly believe, that they are, and shall forever continue true, and lively members of the Church, and that they have remission of their sins, and everlasting life. [Rom. 8.31-39; 2 Tim. 4.8,18.]

X.
And therefore this certainly is not from any special revelation made beside, or without the word, but from faith in God’s promises, which he hath most plentifully revealed in his word for {45} our comfort, from the testimony of the holy Spirit, bearing witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God, and heirs, Rom. 8.16. Lastly, from a serious and holy care of keeping a good conscience, and endeavour of good works. And if God’s chosen should want in this world this solid comfort of obtaining the victory, and this infallible pledge and earnest of eternal glory, they were surely of all men the most miserable. [Rom. 8.16,17; 1 John 3.1,2; Acts 24.16; Rom. 8.37; 1 Cor. 15.19.]

XI.
Nevertheless, the Scriptures witness, that the faithful do wrestle in this life with divers doubts of the flesh, and being plunged in deep temptations, do not always perceive in themselves this full assurance of faith, and certainty of perseverance: But God, the Father of all consolation, Suffers them not to be tempted above that they are able, but with the temptation makes a way to escape, 1 Cor. 10.13, and by his holy Spirit reviveth in them the certainty of perseverance. [2 Cor. 1.3; 1 Cor. 10.13.]

XII.
Now so far is assurance of perseverance in the true faithful from making them proud, and carnally secure, that, on the contrary, it is the very root of humility, of filial reverence, of true godliness, of patience in all conflicts, of fervent prayer, of constancy in bearing the cross, and in confessing God’s truth, and lastly of {46} solid joy in God: and that moreover the consideration of this benefit becometh a goad, or spur, to incite them to a serious, and continual exercise of thankfulness, and good works as appeareth by the testimonies of the Scriptures, and examples of the Saints. [Rom. 12.1; Psalm 56.12,13; Psalm 116.12; Titus 2.11-14; 1 John 3.3.]

XIII.
Nor doth the revived confidence of perseverance beget wantonness, or reckless neglect of piety in those, who are restored upon their fall, but a far greater care to walk more circumspectly in the ways of the Lord, which are prepared to this end, that by walking therein they may hold fast the certainty of their perseverance; lest by reason of the abuse of his fatherly bounty, God’s gracious countenance (the beholding whereof is sweeter than life to the godly, the withdrawing more bitter than death) be again turned away from them, and so become more grievously wracked in conscience, than before. [2 Cor. 7.10; Eph. 2.10; Psalm 63.4; Isa. 64.7; Jer. 33.5.]

XIIII.
And, as it pleased God to begin this his work of grace in us by the preaching of the Gospel, so by hearing, reading, meditation, exhortations, threats, and promises of the same, as also by the use of the Sacraments, he maintaineth, continueth, and perfecteth his said gracious work. [Deut. 6.20-25; 2 Tim. 3.16,17; Acts 2.42.]

XV.
This doctrine concerning the perseverance {47} of true believers, and Saints, and the certainty thereof (which God to the glory of his name, and comfort of godly souls hath most abundantly revealed in his word, and imprinteth in the hearts of the faithful) howsoever flesh and blood apprehends it not, Satan hates it, the world laughs at it, ignorant men and hypocrites abuse it, and erroneous spirits oppugn it, yet the Spouse of Christ hath always most tenderly loved, and constantly defended it, as a treasure of invaluable price. Which that she may still do, God will provide, and bring to pass: against whom neither can any counsel avail, nor strength prevail.

To which only God the Father, Son, and holy Ghost, be honour, and glory for ever and ever. Amen. [Rev. 14.12; Eph. 5.32; Psalm 33.10,11; 1 Pet. 5.10,11.] {48}



T H E   R E I E C T I O N
of the Errors touching the
Doctrine of the Perseve-
rance of the Saints.

The Synod having declared the Or-
thodox doctrine, now proceedeth
to disavow the errors of those;

First,
THAT teach, that the perseverance of the faithful is not an effect of election, or any gift of God, purchased by the death of Christ, but that it is a condition of the new covenant; which is to be performed on man’s part, by his own free-will, before his (as they themselves speak) peremptory election and justification. For the holy Scripture witnesseth, that it follows upon election, and is given to the elect by virtue of Christ’s death, resurrection, and intercession, Rom. 8.32, &c. He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea or rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? {49}

II.
That teach, that God indeed furnisheth the faithful man with sufficient strength to persevere, and is ready to maintain that strength in him, if he himself be not wanting to his duty: yet, notwithstanding, when as all habilities [abilities, qualifications] necessary unto perseverance, and all things, which God is pleased to use for the preservation of faith, are granted, and set in readiness, that it still remaineth in the choice, and pleasure of man’s will to persevere, or not. For this opinion is easily discovered to be an imp of Pelagianism: which, whilst it strives to make man free, makes him sacrilegious, contrary to the uniform, and perpetual consent of Evangelical Doctrine, which quite strippeth man of all matter of boasting, and ascribeth the glory of this benefit to God’s grace only: and contrary to the Apostle, witnessing, that it is God, who shall confirm us even unto the end, that we may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

III.
That teach, that the regenerate, and true believers, not only may totally, and finally fall from justifying faith, as also from grace, and salvation, but that frequently also they indeed do fall from all these, and perish everlastingly. For this opinion makes the very grace of justification, and regeneration, and Christ’s continual custody void, and of no effect, contrary to the express words of Paul, Rom. 5.8, &c. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us; much more then being now justified by {50} his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. And contrary to the Apostle John, 1 John 3.9, Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin: for his seed remaineth in him, neither can he sin, because he is born of God. And also contrary to the words of our Saviour, John 10.28,29, I give eternal life unto my sheep, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand: my Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

IV.
That teach, that the regenerate, and truly faithful, may sin the sin unto death, or against the holy Ghost. Whereas the same Apostle John, in the fifth Chapter of his first Epistle, having (verse 16) made mention of such, as sinned unto death, and forbidden to pray for them, presently (verse 18) addeth, We know that whosoever is born of God, sinneth not (to wit that kind of sin) but he, that is begotten of God, keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

V.
That teach, that no certainty of future perseverance can be had in this life without special revelation. For by this doctrine the solid comfort of true believers in this life, is quite taken away, and the doctrine of doubtfulness (avouched by the Papists) is brought again into the Church. Whereas the holy Scripture everywhere draweth {51} this assurance, not from special, and extraordinary revelation, but from the proper marks and signs of God’s children, and from the infallible promises made by God himself: Especially the Apostle, Romans 8.39, No creature is able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ. And John, 1 John 3.24, He that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him: and hereby we know, that he abideth in us, even by the spirit, which he hath given us.

VI.
That teach, that the Doctrine maintaining assurance of perseverance, and of salvation, is, of its own nature, and guise, a soft pillow for the flesh, and hurtful to good manners, godliness, praying, and other holy courses: and contrariwise, that it is a very commendable thing to be doubtful of such perseverance. For the opposers of this assurance do evidently shew, that they know not the powerfulness of God’s grace, nor the operation of the holy Ghost dwelling in the heart, and spare not to outface the Apostle John, affirming the contrary in express terms, 1 John 3.2,3, Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear, what we shall be: but we know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is. And every man, that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure. They are also refuted, by the examples of holy men, both in the old and new {52} Testament, who, though well assured of their own perseverance and salvation, yet gave not over prayers, and other exercises of godliness.

VII.
That teach, that the faith of those, that believe but for a season, differeth not from justifying and saving faith, but only in respect of continuance. For Christ himself, Matt. 13.20, and Luke 18.13, manifestly putteth a threefold disparison between temporizers, and true believers; saying, that those receive the seed in a stony ground, these in good ground; that is, in an honest & good heart: those want root, these have a fast root: those are fruitless, these bring forth their fruit with diversity of yield, and that with patience, that is, with constancy, and perseverance.

VIII.
That teach, that it is not absurd, that a man should lose his first regeneration, and be again and again new-born spiritually. For they, that teach this, do thereby deny the incorruptibleness of that divine seed, whereof we are born anew: contrary to the testimony of the Apostle Peter, 1 Pet. 1.23, Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible.

IX.
That teach, that Christ never prayed for the faithful’s infallible perseverance in faith. For they contradict Christ himself, saying to Peter, Luke 22.32, I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: And {53} also witnessing, (John 17.20,) that himself prayed, not only for his Apostles, but also for all, that should believe by their word, when he said, (verse 11,) Holy Father, keep through thine own name those, whom thou hast given me. And verse 15, I pray not, thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.


The Conclusion.

AND this is the plain, simple, and natural explication of the Orthodox Doctrine, concerning the five Articles controverted in the united Provinces of the Low-countries, as also the rejection of those errours, wherewith the Churches of the said Netherlands, have for a time been much troubled. Which their determination, the Synod holdeth to be taken out of God’s word, and agreeable to the Confessions of the Reformed Churches. Whereby it manifestly appeareth, with how small truth, equity, or charity, some, whom such dealings least beseemed, have laboured to beat into the peoples heads,

That, the doctrine of the Reformed Churches, concerning Predestination and the other points thereon appendant, doth, of its own bent, and inclination, call off men’s minds from all religion, and piety: that it is the cushion, which the Devil layeth under our flesh, the very castle of Satan, out of which he {54} layeth watch for all, woundeth most men, and striketh dead very many, with the darts, as well of despair, as of security.

That, this doctrine maketh God the author of sin, unjust, a tyrant, an hypocrite; and that it is nothing else, but a patched composure of Stoicism, Manicheism, Libertinism, and Turcism [Islam].

That, it maketh men carnally secure, as being thereby persuaded, that the Elect, live they how they list, must needs be saved, and therefore may on God’s name run through all the outrageous villainies in the world: and contrariwise, that it booteth not the Reprobates for their salvation, though they should sincerely perform all the good works, which any Saint hath done.

That, by it we are taught, that God, out of his own absolute will, & mere purpose, without any respect at all of sin, hath fore-ordained, and created the far greatest part of men in the world, to be damned forever.

That, as Election is the fountain and original cause of faith, and good works, so in like manner Reprobation is the cause of infidelity, and wickedness.

That, many of the children of the faithful are in their infancy, without any guilt at all, taken from their mother’s breasts, and tyrannously cast headlong into hell-fire; so that neither the Sacrament of Baptism, nor the prayers of the Church at their baptising, can at all avail them.

And many other obloquies of this strain, which the reformed Churches not only do not admit, but also detest with all their heart. {55}

Wherefore this Synod, holden at Dort, requesteth, and in the name of the Lord adjureth, all, whosoever in godly zeal call upon the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ, that they would be pleased to judge of the doctrine of the reformed Churches, not out of calumnies raked up here and there, no nor out of the private Tenets of some, whether old or new, doctors, & those oftentimes either sinisterly cited, or corrupted, or strained to a sense never intended by the Authors, but out of the published Confessions of the Churches themselves, and (for these points) out of this Declaration of orthodox doctrine agreed upon, and enacted by the joint consent of all and every the members of this whole Synod.

And, as for rash, and slanderous traducers, the Synod earnestly advertiseth them to look unto it, and consider how heavy an account they are to give unto God, that bear false witness against so many Churches, and so many Church-confessions, trouble the consciences of the Weak, and labour to draw the society of true believes into suspicion with many.

Lastly, this Synod exhorteth all their Fellow-Ministers of the Gospel, to have a pious, and religious care, in the handling of this Doctrine, whether in schools, or pulpits; and whensoever they undertake it by word, or pen, discreetly to accommodate the same to the advancement {56} of God’s glory, to the promoting of holiness of life, and to the comforting of afflicted, & affrighted souls: to frame not only their judgment, but also their style of speech, to the square of the Scriptures, and suitably to the analogy of Faith: Lastly to forbear all such phrases, or manner of speech, as pass the bounds, set out unto us, of the right meaning of the holy Scriptures, and withal give wayward wranglers just occasion of traducing, or slandering the doctrine of the Reformed Churches.

The Son of God Jesus Christ, who sitting at the right hand of his Father, bestoweth gifts on men, sanctify us in his truth, bring back into the way of truth those that are gone astray, stop the mouths of those, that slander sound doctrine, endue the faithful Ministers of his word, with the spirit of wisdom and discretion, that all they utter, may tend to the glory of God, and edification of their hearers. Amen. {57}



This is our opinion and
iudgement.

In witnesse whereof we haue hereto
subscribed.


   Johannes Bogermannus, Minister of the Church of
Lewerden, and President of the Synod.
   Jacobus Rolandus, Minister of the Church of Am-
sterdam, and Assistant to the said President.
   Hermannus Faukelius, Minister of the Church of
Middelburg, and Assistant to the said President.
   Sabastianus Damman, Minister of the Church of
Zutphen, and Secretary to the Synod.
   Festus Hommius, Minister of the Church of Ley-
den, and Secretary to the Synod.

¶From GREAT BRITAINE.

   George, Bishop of Landaf.
   John Davenant, Priest, Doctor, and public Pro-
fessor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge, and
Master of Queens College there.
   Samuel Ward, Priest, Doctor of Divinity, Archdea-
con of Taunton, and Master of Sidney College in the
University of Cambridge.
   Thomas Goad, Priest, Doctor of Divinity, chiefe-
Chanter of the Cathedral Church of S. Paul in London. {58}
   Gualter Belcanquall, a Scotch-man, Priest, Batche-
lour of Divinity.

¶From the County Palatine of the
RHENE.

   Abraham Scultetus, Doctor of Divinity, and Pro-
fessor of the same in the University of Heidelberg.
   Paulus Tossanus, Doctor of Divinity, and Coun-
sailer in the Ecclesiastical Senate of the lower Pala-
tinate.
   Henricus Altingius, Doctor of Divinity, and Pro-
fessor thereof in the University of Heidelberg.

¶From HASSIA.

   Georgius Cruciger, Doctor of Divinity, Professor,
and now Rector of the University of Marpurg.
   Paulus Steinius, Preacher of the Court, and Profes-
sor in the College of Gentry, called Adelphicum
Mauritianum, at Castels.
   Daniel Angelocrator, Minister of the Church of
Marpurg, and superintendent of the neighbour Chur-
ches, upon Laun, and Edder.
   Rodolphus Goclenius the elder, chief Professor of
sound Philosophy in the University of Marpurg, and
now Dean there.

¶From ZVITSERLAND.

   Johannes Jacobus Breytingerus, Minister of the {59}
Church of Zurik.
   Marcus Rutimeverus, Doctor of Divinity, and Mi-
nister of the Church of Bearne.
   Sebastianus Beckius, Doctor of Divinity, and Pro-
fessor of the new Testament in the University of Basil,
and Dean of the faculty of Divinity there.
   Wolfgangus Mayerus, Doctor of Divinity, and Pastor
of the Church of Basil.
   Johannes Conradus Cockius, Minister of the Church
of Scaphuse.

¶From the Correspondence of
WEDDERAV.

   Johannes Henricus, Alstedius, ordinary Professor
in the famous Nassauique School of Herborne.
   Georgius Fabricius, Minister of the Church of Win-
dech in the County of Hanow, and overseer of the ad-
ioyning Churches.

¶From the common-wealth and Church
of GENEVA.

   Johannes Deodatus, a Pastor in the Church of Gene-
ua, and Professor of Divinity there.
   Theodorus Tronchinus, Minister of God's word in
the Church of Geneva, and Professor of Divinity
there. {60}

¶From the common-wealth and Church
of BREME.

   Matthias Martinius, Rector of the famous Schoole
of Breme, and Professor of Divinity in the same.
   Henricus Isselburg, Doctor of Divinity, the seruant
of Iesus Christ at the Parish of the Virgin Mary in
the Church of Breme, and Professor of the New Testa-
ment in the School there.
   Ludovicus Crocius, Doctor of Divinity, Minister of
S. Martins Parish in the Church of Breme, and in the
famous Schoole there Professor of the Old Testament,
and practical Philosophy.

¶From the common-wealth and Church
of EMBDEN.

   Daniel Bernardus Eilshemius, the ancient Pastor of
the Church of Embden.
   Ritzius Lucas Grimershemius, Pastor of the Church
of Embden.

¶The BELGIQVE Professors of
Diuinity.

   Johannes Polyander, Doctor of Divinity, and Pro-
fessor in the University of Leyden.
   Sibrandus Lubbertus, Doctor of Divinity, and Pro-
fessor in the University of Friesland. {61}
   Franciscus Gomarus, Doctor of Divinity, and Pro-
fessor in the University of Gronningen, and Omland.
   Antonius Tysius, Professor of Divinity in the re-
nowned School of Harderwik in Gelderland.
   Antonius Walęus, Pastor of the Church of Middel-
burg, and called from the renowned School there, a-
mong other Divines to the Synod.

¶From the Dutchy of GELDER-LAND and
County of ZUTPHEN.

   Gulielmus Stephani, Doctour of Divinity and Pa-
stor of the Church of Arnhem.
   Ellardus a Mehen, Pastor of the Church of Harder-
wick.
   Johannes Bouillet, Minister of Warnesfield.
   Jacobus Verheyden, Elder of the Church of Numeg-
hen, and Rector of the school there.

¶From South-HOLLAND.

   Balthasar Lydius M.F. Pastor of God's Church in
the city of Dort.
   Henricus Arnoldi, Preacher at Delf.
   Gisbertus Voetius, Pastor of the Church of Huysden.
   Arnoldus Musius ab Holy Bailif of South Holland,
Elder of the Church of Dort.
   Johannes Latius, Elder of the Church of Leyden. {62}

¶From NORTH-HOLLAND.

   Iacobus Triglandius, Minister of the Church of Am-
sterdam.
   Abrahamus ą Dooreslaer, Minister of the Church
of Enchusen.
   Samuel Bartholdus, Pastor of the Church of Moni-
chodam.
   Theodorus Heyngius, Elder of the Church of Am-
sterdam.
   Dominicus ab Heemskerck, Elder of the Church of
Amsterdam.

¶From ZEE-LAND.

   Godefridus Udemannus, Pastor of the Church of Zu-
rick-zee.
   Cornelius Regius, Pastor of the Church of Tergoose.
   Lambertus de Rycke, Pastor of the Church of Bergen
up Zoon.
   Josias Vosbergius, Elder of the Church of Middle-
burg.
   Adrianus Hofferus, Counselor of the Towne of
Zurick-see, and Elder of the Church there.

¶From the Prouince of VTRECHT.

   Johannes Dibbezius, Minister of Dort, Deputy of
the Orthodox Synod of Utrecht. {63}
   Arnoldus Oortcampius, Pastour of the Church of
Amesfort.

¶From FRIESLAND.

   Florentius Johannis, Servant of Jesus Christ cruci-
fied, in the Church of Snek.
   Philippus Danielis Eilshemius, Pastor of the Church
of Harling.
   Kempo Harinxma ą Donia, Elder of the Church of
Leuerdin.
   Tacitus ab Aysma, Elder of the Church in Buir-
girt, Hichtum, and Hartwardt.

¶From OVER-ISELL.

   Casparus Sibelius, Pastor of the Church of Deven-
ter.
   Hermannus Wiferding, Minister of the Gospell of
Christ, in the Church of Swoll.
   Hieronymus Vogelius, Pastor of the Church of Has-
selt, now deputed by the Orthodox Church of Campen.
   Iohannes Langius, Preacher of Woolenhoof.
   Wilhelmus ą Broickhuysenten Doerne, deputed for
an Elder.
   Johannes ą Lauwick, deputed for an Elder.

¶From the Towne of GRONNINGEN, and the
Territories thereabout.

   Cornelius Hillenius, the Servant of Christ in the
Church of Gronningen. {64}
   Georgius Placius, Pastor of the Church of Aping-
dam.
   Wolfgangus Agricola, Minister of the Church of
Bedam.
   Wigboldus Homerus, Minister of the Church of
Midwold.
   Egbertus Halbes, Elder of the Church of Gronnin-
gen.
   Ioannes Rufelaert, Elder of the Church of Stedum.

¶From DRENT.

  Themo ab Asscheberg, Pastor of the Church of Mep-
pelen.
   Patroclus Romelingius, Pastor of the Church of
Rhuine.

¶From the WALLON Churches.

   Daniel Colonius, Minister of the Church of Leyden,
and Regent of the College of Wallons in the Universi-
ty of Leyden.
   Joannes Crucius, Minister of Harleim.
   Joannes Doucher, Minister of Vluisshing.
   Jeremias de Pours, Minister of the Wallon Church
at Middleburg.
   Everardus Beckerus, Elder of the Wallon Church at
Middleburg.
   Petrus Pontanus, Elder of the Church in Amster-
dam.


To testify, that all the premisses, touching the five
   controverted points, were thus judged and en-
   acted, we the Deputies of the Illustrius and
   mighty L.L. the States general, appointed for
   the Synod, have here set to our hands.

¶From GELDERLAND.

   Martinus Gregorii, Doctor, Counselor of the Dut-
chy of Gelderland, and County of Zutphen.
   Henricus van Essen, Counselor of the Dutchy of
Gelderland, and County of Zutphen.

¶From HOLLAND.

   Walrauus de Brederode.
   Hugo Muvs van Holy.
   Jacobus Boelius.
   Gerardus de Nieuburch.

¶From ZEELAND.

   Symon Scotte, Counseller and Secretary of the
Town of Middleburg.
   Jacobus Campe, Counseller of the States of Ze-
land.

¶From the Prouince of VTRECHT.

   Fredericus van Zuylen van Nyevelt.
   Wilhelmus van Hardevelt. {66}

¶From FRIESLAND.

   Ernestus ab Aylva Counsailer of the States of
Friesland, Griet-man of East Dangerland.
   Ernestus ab Harinxma, chief Counseller in the
Provincial Court of Friesland.

¶From OVER-ISSEL.

   Henricus Hagen.

¶From GRONNINGEN and the OMLANDS.

   Hieronymus Isbrants, I.V.D.
   Edzardus Jacobus Clant ą Stedum.

And Daniel Heinsius, Secretary to the said Wor-
   shipful Deputies.




T H E   S E N T E N C E
of the Synod concerning
the Remonstrants.

THE truth, by God's grace, being hitherto explained, and maintained, errors rejected, and unjust calumnies removed out of the way; this Synod of Dort, (of whose task this part yet remains) doth seriously, vehemently, and by the authority (which according to God's word, it obtains over all the members of her Churches) in Christ's name entreat, exhort, warn, and enjoin all, and every Pastor of Churches in the united Provinces, all Professors, Doctors, and Rectors of Universities, and Schools, and briefly all in general, to whom either the charge of souls, or instruction of youth is committed, that they abandoning the five known Articles of the Remonstrants (which are both erroneous in themselves, and lurking holes for other errours) for their parts, and as much as in them lieth, preserve, clear and untainted, this wholesome doctrine of the saving truth, drawn from the most pure fountain of God's word, that they propound, and expound it discreetly, and faithfully to the people and youth; and diligently declare the use of it, which will be most comfortable, and {68} profitable both in life and in death unto them: that they instruct with mildness, and inform with the evidence of truth, such of the flock as wander, and are of another mind, being carried out of the way with new opinions (if at any time God shall give unto them repentance to acknowledge the truth) that, being restored to a better mind, they may with one spirit, mouth, faith, & love, return again unto the Church of God, and Communion of Saints. That so at the last, the wound of the Church being closed up, and grown together, all the members thereof may have one heart, and one soul in the Lord.

And, forasmuch as there are some gone out from among us under the title of Remonstrants (which name of Remonstrants as also of Contra-Remonstrants, the SYNOD thinks fit henceforth forever to be forgotten and abolished) who, violating the discipline, and order of the Church, and contemning the admonitions, & judgments of their brethren, have by their factious projects, and unlawful means greatly, and very dangerously troubled, about these points of doctrine, the Netherland Churches, heretofore most flourishing, & linked together in faith, and love: have renewed old and noxious errors, and also forged new; dispersing them among the people both in public, and private, by word, and writing, and most eagerly maintaining them: moreover have, without measure, or ceasing, laid on [a] load of slanders, and reproaches, to disgrace the doctrine {69} hitherto received in these Churches: & filled all places far and near with scandals, dissensions, turmoils, & scruples of conscience: which heinous offences against the faith, against charity, against good manners, & against the unity & peace of the Church, seeing they are not sufferable in any, certainly in Pastors they must of necessity be punished with a very severe censure, such as hath in all ages been inflicted by the Church in such cases.

Hereupon the Synod, having called upon God's most holy name, well knowing their own authority, warranted out of God's word, insisting [continuing] in the footsteps of all lawful Synods, as well ancient, as those of later times, and strengthened with the authority of most Illustrious LL. the States General, declareth, & judgeth those Pastors, who were leaders of factions, & parties, and teachers of errors, to be held guilty and convict of corrupting religion, rending the unity of the Church, and raising most grievous scandals; and moreover those that were cited to this Synod, to be further guilty of intolerable contumacy against the decrees of the supreme Magistrate published in this Synod, and against this venerable Synod itself.

For which causes the Synod first of all, straitly inhibiteth and debarreth the said cited persons, from all Ecclesiastical function, discharges them of their places, and also holds them unworthy {70} of any office in the Universities, until by serious repentance, fully evidenced by their contrary words, actions, and endeavours, they make satisfaction unto the Church, and be truly and fully reconciled unto her, and re-entertained into the communion thereof. Which we most heartily wish in our Lord and Saviour Christ, for their own good, and the joy of the whole Church.

But as for the rest of whom this National Synod hath not taken notice, we commit them (according to the accustomed order) to the Provincial Synods, Classes, and Presbyteries: which are to provide with all diligence, that the Church may neither receive any hurt for the present, nor have cause to fear it for the time to come: to distinguish, with the spirit of discretion, between the followers of those errours, namely to deprive with all speed the stubborn, clamorous, factious, and turbulent, of their Ecclesiastical and Scholastical Offices, which belong to the cognizance of those Synods: for which purpose we warn them presently, & without delay, upon the receipt of the Judgment of this National Synod (the license and authority of the Magistrate being obtained thereto) to assemble and meet together, lest by lingering and slackness, the mischief gather strength, and get further ground. But as for those, that have fallen off through weakness, being transported {71} by the storm of the times, and happily waver, yea or dissent in matters of lesser moment, yet are modest, peaceable, of blameless conversation, and willing to be better instructed, they are to provoke and stir up such, with all gentleness, charity, and patience, to true and perfect concord with the Church: yet with this proviso, that they be very cautelous [cautious], that they admit none into the sacred Ministry, who shall refuse to subscribe unto, and teach the Doctrine declared in these Synodical Constitutions: and further, that they retain none in the Ministry, by whose manifest dissention, the Doctrine, with so universal a consent, approved in this Synod, may be impeached, and the concord of Pastors, and tranquility of the Church again disturbed.

Moreover, this venerable Synod, earnestly adviseth all Ecclesiastical assemblies to be careful and watchful, over the flocks committed [to] their charge, in time to meet withall innovations, covertly springing up in the Church, & to pluck up such tares out of the Lord's field: likewise, that they have a special eye and care over Schools, and the Governours of Schools, lest by private and crooked opinions instilled into youth, the like mischief hereafter grow again upon the Church, and Commonwealth.

Finally, as this Synod yieldeth humble {72} thanks to the most Illustrious, and mighty L.L. the States General of the united Provinces, for that in so needful and seasonable a time, they have relieved the afflicted and decayed estate of this Church, by affording the remedy of a Synod, received into their protection the true and faithful servants of God; taken order to have the pledge of all blessings, and of God's presence, namely the truth of his Word, religiously, and holily preserved, in their Dominions, and spared neither cost, nor pains, to advance and perfect so great a work (for which good offices performed by them, the Synod most heartily wisheth of God, a most plentiful both spiritual, and temporal reward, into the bosoms of them all in the public, and of every of them in their particular:) so also it further earnestly, and humbly entreats the said most gracious L.L. that they would be pleased, to will and command this wholesome Doctrine, faithfully expressed by this Synod, according to God's word, and the consent of the Reformed Churches, to be solely and publickly taught in their Dominions; to nip in the head all upstarting heresies, and errors; to curb unquiet and turbulent spirits; still to approve themselves true and loving Foster-Fathers of the Church; to ratify this Synodical Sentence decreed against the forementioned persons, according to the Ecclesiastical authority, confirmed by the laws of the {73} Land: and lastly, by their approbation, and strength of their authority thereto added, to confirm the determinations concluded by this Synod, and make them forever inviolable.

Subscribed in the name, and by the
appointment of the SYNODE.

Sebastianus Damman, Secretary of the Synod.
Festus Hommius, Pastor of the Church of Leyden,
and Register of the National Synod.

In witness of the enacting hereof,
DANIEL HEINSIUS.




THE
A P P R O B A T I O N
of the LL. the Estates
Generall.

THE Estates general of the united Provinces of the Netherlands to all that shall see, or read these presents, GREETING.
WHEREAS, for the abolishment of those lamentable, and most hurtful controversies, some years since (to the great damage of our Common-weale, and breach of our Church-peace) raised about the notorious five Articles, (so called) and the points appendant thereon, We thought fit, according to the good course usually taken both in God's Church generally, and particularly in the Belgique Church itself, to summon a National SYNOD of all the Churches of our united Provinces, to be assembled at DORT; and for the better celebrating the said Synod to the especial benefit of these Countries, have, without spare of our labour or charges, requested, and obtained to be sent thither many worthy, learned, and notable Divines of the Reformed Churches in divers foreign Nations, as by their several subscriptions unto the Synodical Judgment doth appear: and have also, for the well ordering of the said Synod, deputed {75} for every several Province our Delegates, who by their presence from the beginning to the ending of the Sessions of that Assembly, might take care, that all things might be carried there (according to our sincere intention) in the fear of God, in decent order, and by the rule of God's word only. And whereas the said Synod hath now, by God's singular blessing, with so joint a consent of all and every, as well Strangers as Domestics, given their Judgment concerning the aforesaid Heads of doctrine, and hath moreover passed a Synodical censure upon the Teachers of those erroneous points; and also, with our knowledge, and consent, hath upon the sixth of May last past, published the said decrees and sentence: WE, being desirous, that the Churches of these Countries may fully enjoy the fruit of this great, and holy Work, (being such as the Reformed Churches never saw before) and holding nothing more dear, nor more pertinent to our charge, than the glory of God's most sacred name, the maintaining and spreading of the true Reformed Religion (which is the foundation of our prosperity, and the bond of combination among the confederate Provinces) than the concord, peace, and tranquility of our Churches; as also the preserving of correspondence, and communion between the Churches within these Countries, and all other foreign Reformed Churches, from which we neither may, nor can dissever ourselves, having viewed, recognized, {76} and duly examined and weighed the aforesaid Judgment and Sentence of the Synod, have fully in all points approved, confirmed, and ratified, and by these presents do approve, confirm, and ratify the same.

Hereby willing also, and ordaining, that no doctrine concerning the aforesaid five doctrinal Heads, other than that, which shall be conformable and agreeing with the forenamed Judgment, shall be taught, or spread in the Churches of these Countries. And accordingly, we enjoin and command all Ecclesiastic Assemblies, all Church-Ministers, Professors, and Doctors of Divinity, Rectors of Colleges, and all and every one, whom these things may any way concern, faithfully and sincerely to follow the same, and to conform themselves thereunto in the performance of their Ministry & functions.

And to the end that our good intention may attain full effect on all sides, we enjoin, and command, the States Generals, and Deputies of States, the Counsellors, and Deputies of the Provinces of Gelders, Zutphen, Holland, & Westfriesland, Zeland, Utrecht, Friesland, Over-Issel, Gronning, and the Omlands, and all other Officers, Judges, and Justicers, to observe and maintain, & cause to be observed & maintained, the aforesaid Synodical Judgment, with the appertenances: so that neither themselves make any immutation of them, nor suffer to be attempted by others in any sort: For that we hold, and {77} judge this course necessary to be taken for the promoting of God's glory, for the welfare and securing of this State, and for the peace and tranquility of this Church.

Given under our Seal, signed by our President, and subscribed by our Secretary, at Gravenhage,
Jul. 2. 1619. A. PLOOS.
By order from the said States Generall.
C. AARSEN.

The Seal in red waxe vnderneath.


THE
S E N T E N C E   O F
the Nationall SYNODE
of DORT,

Concerning the doctrine of CONRADVS
VORSTIVS, Doctor in
Diuinity.


 

Whereto  is  annexed  the  DE-
CREE of the Illustrious and mighty LL.
the Estates of Holland and West-Friesland,
ensuing vpon the said sentence.

WHEREAS it hath pleased the high and mighty LL. the States general, by their nobel and worthy Commissioners, to require this Synod, to deliver summarily their judgment concerning the Divinity, or Doctrine broached by Conradus Vorstius, Doctor of Divinity in his writings, and withall to declare, whether such his doctrine be fit to be taught in the reformed Churches or Schools, as wholesome and tending to edification, or might without breach of piety be tolerated in the same: this venerable Synod, having in {79} the fear of God duly weighed, and examined the premisses, hath with joint suffrages declared, and by this present sentence doth declare, That the said Conrad Vorstius (besides that concerning the five controverted Articles, he defendeth and maintaineth the errors of the Remonstrants, rejected by this Synod) doth in his latter writings, but especially in the Tractate, entitled, Of God, and his attributes, make bold with, not one or two Articles of the reformed Religion, but most of the fundamental heads of Divinity; namely, such as concern the Trinity of persons in the Godhead, the Simplicity, Infiniteness, Immensity, Essential Omnipresence, Omniscience, Omnipotency, Wisdom, and Immutability of the Essence of God; as also concerning the Creation, the Providence of God, the Hypostatical Union of the two natures in Christ, the full and perfect Satisfaction performed by Christ for our sins, the Justification of man before God by Faith, and many other Articles particularized, as well by the most high and mighty King of Great Britain, as by divers professed Divines; the said Vorstius in those points, partly calling into question many things, the certain and resolved truth whereof hath long since out of God's word been received, and professed by all reformed Churches: and partly avouching expressly many things contrary to the truth of God, revealed in the holy Scriptures, and to the Confessions of all Reformed Churches, impeaching {80} God's glory, hurtful to piety and man's salvation, and either wholly consorting, or very near bordering upon the blasphemies of the baleful heretic Socinus.

And moreover, that he in many passages of his writings, doth most dangerously undermine the chief grounds, founded upon God's word, and thence soundly deduced both by venerable Antiquity, and also by later Reformed Doctors, for the establishing of orthodox Doctrine, especially such as prove the eternal Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, without substituting in the place of those arguments any other for the further confirmation of true doctrine. Also, that he useth busily to propound, & urge to the utmost such sophisms, as may involve and encumber the Truth; and, as for assoiling [solving] them, never to attempt it, but rather to leave them in their full strength, that they may stick in the minds of his readers. So that it manifestly appeareth, that his intent was cunningly to make way for the secret instilling of the impious heresies of Socinus and others: and that he, under pretence of inquiring, doth bestir himself to seduce others. And for amends, he hath, though to no purpose, endeavoured for the hiding his said sleights, to daub them over with divers vain distinctions, frivolous excuses, wretched shifts, and juggling dissimulations.

And therefore, that not only this his dissolute license in Skeptical questioning of the principal heads of the Christian religion, his slippery, doubtful, {81} and winding manner of teaching is pernicious to God's Church, ill befitting such high and sacred matter, and in that regard most unworthy an orthodox teacher; but more especially, that his doctrine itself concerning many very weighty points, is in no wise to be tolerated in Reformed Churches & Schools, but to be thence banished and rooted out, with detestation, as being contrary both to the word of God, and to the Confessions of the Reformed Churches, impious, blasphemous, and many ways contumelious against the Majesty and truth of God.

But as for Conradus Vorstius himself, who as yet hath abated no whit of his errors, and hath obstinately contemned the admonitions, and judgments of Reformed Princes, Doctors, Universities, and Churches, not caring to make any due reparation of that scandal, which by his Books he hath raised, the Synod declareth him to be altogether unworthy the function, and name of an Orthodox Professor, and Doctor.

Lastly, this Synod doth earnestly, and fervently intreat the Illustrious and mighty LL. the Estates General, that they would be pleased by their authority, quickly to take away this scandal from the Reformed Churches; and withal to take order that the Belgic Churches be no longer infected with this spot, and with such Heresies, and blasphemous opinions; and that for the effecting hereof the writings of this Vorstius, and of other the like, may with {82} all possible caution be suppressed. And withal prayeth unto God, more and more to keep, and establish the Reformed Churches in peace, and in the profession of Orthodox Doctrine, against such profane Heresies, and contentions, and confusions, arising out of them: and mercifully to enlighten, and bring back into the way of truth, the said Conradus Vorstius, and all others, that wander with him, that the Church may rejoice, rather for their conversion, than their confusion.

Concluded, and pronounced in the National Synod of Dort, May } 1619.
This we testify,
 
Iohannes Bogermannus, } President.
Iacobus Rolandus,
Heamannus Faukelius,
} Assistants } of the Synod.
Sebastianus Damman,
Festus Hommius,
} Scribes


THE DECREE,

THE Illustrius and mighty LL. the Estates of Holland, and West-Friesland, having in their Assembly viewed the Sentence pronounced by the National Synod of Dort, against the person, writings, and books of Conradus Vorstius, Doctour of Divinity, all things duly considered; have upon fore-deliberation judged and determined, that inasmuch as he was after a peculiar manner admitted to the Professorship {83} of the University of Leiden, it therefore belongeth most properly to themselves to determine that which is fit in his case.

Whereupon accordingly they remove the aforenamed Conrad Vorstius from his functions in the said University, and from henceforth call in his stipend there. And forasmuch as it is evident, that his remaining in these parts is hurtful, as well to the common weal, as to the Church, they banish him out of Holland, and West-Freisland, charging him to depart thence within the space of six weeks, and not to return thither upon such arbitrary penalty as shall in that case be inflicted upon him, as a troubler of the public peace; affording him notwithstanding, for the discharge of his journey, the half year's stipend, whereinto he is now entered.

Moreover they command, that special letters be dispatched to him, whereby he may be certified of these particulars, with express charge unto him to address himself to the performance hereof.

Enacted at the Hage June 27/17} 1619.
By the appointment of the Illustrius and mighty LL. the Estates of Holland and West-Friesland
Subscribed,
A. DVYCE.

LONDON
Printed by IOHN BILL.
M.DC.XIX.


 
 
 
 

Appendix to the 2004 TrueCovenanter.com Edition.

 
 
 
 


T H E
D E C L A R A-
T I O N   O F   T H E
D E C R E E   M A D E   BY   THE
Generall States of the Vnited Netherland
Prouinces, against certaine Arminians, or
Remonstrants, for their perpetuall
banishment. Dated the 15. of
Iuly, 1619. Stilo
Nouo.

T R A N S L A T E D   O V T   OF   THE
DVTCH COPY, PRINTED AT THE
Grauenhage by Hillebrant Iacobssz, ordinary
Printer to the States.

LONDON,
Printed by Felix Kyngston for Nathaniel Newbery, and are to
be sold at the Signe of the Starre, vnder Saint Peters Church
in Cornehill, and in Popes-head
Alley, 1619.

 

T H E   D E C L A-
R A T I O N   OF  THE   D E C R E E
MADE   BY   THE   GENERALL
States of the Vnited Netherland Prouinces, against
certaine Arminians or Remonstrants, for their
perpetuall banishment. Dated the 15. of
Iuly, 1619. Stilo Nouo.

THE States General of the United Netherland Provinces, having well, wisely and deliberately considered of, and consulted upon, the several reports as well by the Secular, as the Ecclesiastical Deputies of the National Synod from time to time made unto them, concerning the behaviours and actions of the thirteen persons here under named, as also of the two others that joined with them, during the continuance of the said Synod; and specially upon the two Decrees, bearing date the one, the first, the other, the eighteenth of January last past, made and pronounced against them in the name of the said General States; as also upon the sentence pronounced by the said Synod upon the sixth of May against them, and by the said General States ratified and approved. In like sort having well considered upon their answer made unto certain propositions and interrogatories, which by the said General States upon the 25 of May, in the Town of Dort were propounded unto them: together with their answers by word of mouth upon the third, and again this present 19 day of July, by every one of them severally and apart reiterated, before the assembly of the said General States, touching an Act made for the dismissing of them from their Spiritual functions: and appointing them to live as Secular persons, the contents thereof being, that they should faithfully promise, with upright hearts and consciences, from thenceforth, not to intrude themselves, nor once take upon them to deal in any spiritual affairs, services or ceremonies, as Ministers, Teachers, or Officers of the Church, nor to meddle with the same in any manner whatsoever, openly or secretly, directly or indirectly, neither within nor without the Towns, Villages, and places of the United Provinces, nor the resorts thereof, but to behave themselves civilly, honestly, peaceably and modestly, as particular and Secular subjects ought to do, and to govern themselves orderly according to the commandments and precepts of the superior power, and to be obedient thereunto. To the which Decree and sentence so pronounced, every one of them severally for himself (Henricus Leo only excepted, who thereunto willingly subscribed) made answer, that concerning their consciences, they were not bound to be obedient unto the said General States, for that thereby (as they said) they were prohibited and restrained from participating their counsels and opinions concerning their doctrine to and amongst the assemblies of those that are of their opinions in their religion, which might be required of them, ought of the public Churches. Their said answer and declaration being wholly conformable to the hurtful, dangerous and pernicious complot and league made by some of their confederates, in form and manner of an Anti-synod, without the consent and commission of the lawful Magistrates, in the Town of Rotterdam, upon the fifth of March last past: whereunto they (or at the least, the most part of them) upon the 25 of May aforesaid, did confess and acknowledge to be consenting, and acquainted therewithal; in such manner, that by their aforesaid proceedings, as also by all other their actions and comportments, it evidently appeareth, and is most manifest, that they stubbornly and wilfully continue in their insupportable stiff-neckedness, and disobedience against their lawful Magistrates, and that the same their proceedings tend only, to a further disquietness and trouble of the minds and wills of the good and faithful inhabitants and subjects of the said United Provinces, as also to the perturbation not only of politic government, but of the religion which they, by all the means they could devise hitherto have sought, and yet seek to with-draw and separate from the general and upright feeling, and consent of the true Reformed Churches, both within and without the land. Therefore the said General States have declared, & by these presents do declare the said persons & their adherents aforesaid, to be hereby discharged, and wholly dismissed of, and from all Spiritual functions, offices and duties usually performed in the Church, and merely made Secular persons, and that they whose names are hereafter recited, be banished.

The Names of such principal Remonstrants,
as are perpetually banished
by this Decree.

Bernerus Wezekius, Henricus Hollingerus, Simon Episcopius, Iohannes Arnoldi Corinus, Bernardus Dwinglonius, Eduardus Popius, Theophilus Rickwaerdius, Phillippus Pinakerus, Diminicus Sampa, Isaacus Frederici, Samuel Neranus, Thomas Goswinus, Assuerus Mathisius, and Carolus Niellius.
These by certain Officers thereunto appointed, shall be brought forth of prison, and conducted out of the United Provinces, and the Sovereign Resorts of the same, never to come nor return into them again; before, and until such time as it shall sufficiently appear, and be made manifest unto the said General States, that they are ready and willing to be conformable, and to sign unto the aforesaid Act; and shall have obtained the said General States warrant and license so to do, upon pain for doing the contrary, from that time forward (as perturbers of the common peace and quietness of the land) to be punished according to the discretions of the General States.

Given at the Assembly of the said General States in the Graven Hage, the 15 of July, 1619. Stilo Novo. Signed, A. Ploos vt. And underneath, by order from the General-States, Signed

C. Aerssen.