... for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?—Canticles 1.7.
S E N T E N C E O F
the Nationall SYNODE
Concerning the doctrine of CONRADVS
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 the fear of God duly weighted, 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 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 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, 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 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,||} Assistants||} of the Synod.|
|Sebastianus Damman,||} Scribes|