THE JUDGMENT

OF THE

SYNOD

HELD AT

DORT,

 

Concerning the five Articles:

 

As also their sentence touching

 

CONRADUS VORSTIUS

 

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Acts 15: 25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled

with one accord, &c.

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LONDON

PRINTED BY JOHN BILL

MDCXIX

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE

JUDGMENT

OF THE NATIONAL

SYNODE of the Reformed Belgic

Churches, assembled at Dort,

Anno 1618, and 1619.

 

In which SYNOD were admitted

many Divines of note, being of

the Reformed Churches.

 

Of Great Britain,

Of the County Palatine of Rhene,

Of Hassia,

Of Helvetia,

Of the Correspondence of Weterav,

Of Geneva,

Of Breme, and

Of Embden,

 

Concerning the five Articles controverted

in the Belgic Churches:

 

Published (by reading in Latin in the great Church

at DORT) May 6, 1619, stylo nouo.

 

Englished out of the Latin copy.

 

 

 

The Preface

 

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IN THE NAME OF

our Lord and Savior

Jesus Christ

 

Amen.

 

Amongst the manifold comforts, which our Lord and Savior 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 heretics, 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 opportunely, 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 shown 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痴 behalf when it grappled with false teachers, diversely corrupting religion, hath procured the remedy of sacred Synods: wherein the faithful servants of Christ have jointly with their prayers, counsels, and labors courageously stood for God痴 Church, and his truth, fearlessly opposed the instruments of Satan, howsoever changing themselves into Angels of light, rooted up the weeds of errors, and dissention, preserved the Church in agreement of the pure religion, and left unto posterity the sincere worship of God uncorrupted.

With like favor our faithful Savior 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痴 mighty hand set free from the tyranny of the Romish Antichrist, and 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-public, 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 Savior痴 merciful hand in time been interposed, these flourishing Churches had been utterly consumed with the horrible flames of discord and schism. But blessed forever 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 despises not the sighs of his people.

For when in man痴 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 longtime approved by the example of the Apostles themselves, and of the Christian Church following them; and also heretofore with great benefit used 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 favor 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痴 word only, the true doctrine established, and the false rejected, and concord, peace, and tranquility (by God痴 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 Savior.

Wherefore (a fast, and public prayers being formerly enjoined and performed in all the Belgic Churches by the authority of the Chief Magistrate, for the deprecation of God痴 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痴 honor, and salvation of his Church, and upon the invocation of God痴 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 and mighty Lords the States General themselves, could prevail anything 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痴 singular mercy dispatched, and finished with all diligence, conscience, and faithfulness, and with the joint consent of all and everyone; this Synod for the advancement of God痴 glory, for the upholding of that truth which leads to salvation, and for the maintaining of peace and tranquility as well in men痴 consciences, as in the Belgic Churches, determines to publish this their judgment; wherein the true doctrine agreeable with God痴 word, touching the five foresaid heads of doctrine is declared, and the false and disagreeing with God痴 word, is rejected; as follows.

 

 

 

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