of the LL. the Estates
††††††††† The Estates General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands to all that shall see, or read these presents,
††††††††† Whereas, for the abolishment of those lamentable, and most hurtful controversies, some years since (to the great damage of our Common-weal, 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 Godís Church generally, and particularly in the Belgic 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 of the said Synod to the especial benefit of these counties, have, without spare of our labor 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 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 Godís word only. And whereas the said Synod hath now, by Godís singular blessing, with so joint a consent of all and every, as well strangers, as domestics, given their judgment concerning the afore said heads of doctrine, and hath moreover passed 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 decree and sentence: We, being desirous, that the Churches of these countries may fully enjoy the fruits 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 Godís 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) then the concord, peace and tranquility of our Churches; as also the preserving of correspondence, and communion between the Curches within these countries, and all other foreign Reformed Churches, from which we neither may, nor can dissever ourselves, having viewed, recognized, 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 everyone, 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 and 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 Counselors, and Deputies of the Provinces of Gelders, Zutphen, Holland, and Westfriesland, Zeland, Vtreecht, Friesland, Over-Issel, Gronning, and the Omlands, and all other Officers, Judges, and Justicers, to observe and maintain, and cause to be observed and maintained, the aforesaid Synodical Judgment, with the appurtenances: so that neither themselves make any alteration of them, nor suffer to be attempted by others in any sort: For that we hold, and judge this course necessary to be taken for the promoting of Godís 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,
July 2, 1619 A. Ploos
By order from the said States General
The Seal in red wax underneath.