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This therefore is the history of PARKER's Theses, which, it will be observed, are of infamous celebrity, since they were accounted, even by the high Calvinists of the Synod of Dort, extremely reprehensible and fraught with dangerous errors. Of all the members, Festus Hommius was the most consummate politician; and it was one of his artful contrivances to screen his Supralapsarian friend Maccovius from a more severe censure, by attributing the composition of these Theses “to a very learned young man of the name of Parker.” To every one conversant with the literary history of that period, it is wellknown, that even in the best-regulated Universities the students in Divinity were accustomed to compose propositions, for public disputation in the Schools: This was a good exercise for those among them who were possessed of the requisite quali. fications; but prior to such Theses being announced for disputation, they were revised and amended by the particular Professor under whom the youthful metaphysicians severally studied, but who was not always the Moderator pro tempore in the Divinity Schools. The Theses under discussion must be regarded as the joint production of the youthful Parker and his profound instructor Makowski; the latter of whom was not only consulted respecting the composition, but was the Moderator under whom they were disputed. Between these two worthies, therefore, the consequent disgrace of them must be divided.—How artful soever this contrivance of Hommius might be, it would be viewed by the learned members of the Synod as a subterfuge that was exceedingly disreputable.
B- Page 166. This is a very good hint. If such a principle of compression and abridgment were applied, by a man of competent attainments, to some of the ancient polemical treatises in our own language, the religious public would have good reason to bless the abbreviator's memory. It ought, however, to be a stipulation, either expressed or implied, that no Calvinist should attempt to abridge the works of an Arminian, and vice versa.
C-Page 167. John CAMERON, or CAMERO, was born at Glasgow in Scot. land, in 1579. When little more than twenty years of age, he read lectures on the Greek language in the University of his native city. Feeling an inclination to travel, in 1600 he went to Bourdeaux, when the Protestant ministers of that city were so captivated with the behaviour and accomplishments of the young man, as to appoint him Master of a College, which they
had founded at Bergerac, for instruction in the Latin and Greek languages. From that situation he was removed, at the instance of the Duke of Bouillon, to Sedan, and made Professor of Phi. losophy. At the end of two years he resigned his Professorship, went to Paris, and soon afterwards, in 1604, he returned to Bourdeaux. The Church of that city gave a stronger proof of their attachment to Cameron, (in a manner that was very common at that period and worthy to be more generally adopted in modern times,) by offering to defray his expenses for four years while he completed his studies in Divinity at any of the contigu. ous Universities. He accepted of these proposals, which were accompanied with the usual condition, that he should at the end of four years serve the Church of Bourdeaux in the capacity of Pastor. The first year he spent in preparatory studies at Paris, in the house of Calignon Chancellor of Navarre, to whose sons he became tutor, and accompanied them to the University of Geneva, in which he devoted two years to theological pursuits. His fourth year was passed in the University of Heidelberg. In 1608, he was recalled by the Church of Bourdeaux, and chosen to supply the vacancy occasioned by the removal of M. Renaud, one of their Pastors. In this new sphere he acquitted himself during ten years with singular reputation ; and was in high esteem among all ranks, till in 1617 he incurred the censure of the parliament of Bourdeaux, who had condemned to death two captains convicted of piracy.-Cameron had been permitted to visit the unhappy culprits in prison, and to administer the con. solations of religion to them at the place of execution. They evinced great courage as well as resignation when broken alive on the wheel; and Cameron thought it right to record their penitence by an account of the befitting manner in wbich they met their doom. He accordingly published a pamphlet, entitled, “ Constancy, Faith, and Resolution at the moment of death, displayed by Captain Blanquet and Gaillard ;" but instead of making his publication a vehicle of religious instruction and moral warning to survivors, he contrived to introduce indirect reflections on the constituted authorities of his adopted country. The two condemned captains were of the Protestant religion, and had addressed a petition to the Parliament, praying that their cause might be heard before the Chambre Mipartie,--a court of justice in which one half of the Judges consisted of Roman Catholics, and the other half of Protestants. This was one of the important privileges which were granted by the Edict of Nantz to the Protestant community; but the Parlia. ment of Bourdeaux determined that this privilege could not be claimed by the pirates. On this alleged infringement of Protestant rights, Cameron animadverted in his pamphlet ; in consequence of which a decree was passed by the Parliament, adjudging the libel to be burnt by the common executioner. The same decree interdicted Cameron “ from writing or publishing in future any such letters as were calculated to raise a sedition, to misrepresent the decrees of Parliament, to exasperate the King's subjects against the sovereign Courts of Judicature, and to render his officers despicable, - under the penalty of being punished in an exemplary manner and prosecuted as a disturber of the public peace.” But by his prudent conduct he outlived the odium which he had incurred by this publication.
In consequence of his great talents he was elected Professor of Divinity by the University of Saumur, in the place of Gomarus, who, after the death of Arminius, had refused to remain at Leyden as an associate to the newly-elected Professor Vorstius. Cameron began the exercise of his functions in 1618, and remained at his post in the University till it was dispersed in 1621 by the Civil, or rather the Religious Wars with which France was soon afterwards distracted.
It was during his abode at Saumur that he had the argumentative encounter with the celebrated Daniel Tilenus to which our Prefacer alludes. Tilenus had been previously deprived of his Professorship at Sedan by the Duke of Bouillon, on account of some differences which had arisen. The Duke had married the sister of the Prince of Orange, and, with the obsequiousness which was then displayed in all directions by every branch of that family, the Canons of the Synod of Dort, at the instigation of Peter du Moulin, were soon afterwards im. posed by the French Synod of Alez, as the only regular test of orthodoxy for the Protestant ministers and Professors in France. Tilenus retired to Paris ; and while he resided in that city, an appointment was made for a Conference between him and Cameron. It was accordingly held at L'Isle, the country-seat of M. Groslot, near Orleans; it commenced on the 24th and was concluded on the 28th of April, 1620, having continued five. days. The disputation was oral; and an account of it was taken, at the time, by Lewis Capellus and De la Milletiere, (or Milcterius,) both of whom were Cameron's disciples. Indeed, it does not appear, that Tilenus had any one present to do justice to his arguments; and we know, that such accounts, unless approved and signed by each of the parties at the close of the dispute, are generally amended and embellished by the party that afterwards publishes the statement and claims the victory for itself. This was the case with regard to the meeting between Cameron and Tilenus; an account of which was published at Leyden in 1621, and is entitled, Amica Collatio de Graliæ et Voluntatis Humanæ concursu fc. “An amicable Confer. ence between those two famous men, Daniel TILENUS and John CAMERON, concerning the Concurrence of Grace with the Human Will in the Vocation [of Men to Salvation], and on certain other topics connected with that subject." It is inserted among the works of Cameron; and when a man tells his own
tale, or when (as in this instane) his warm partizans do it for him, we must not be surprised to hear such a sound Calvinist as the Editor of Parker's Theses exclaim, as in page 167, “ When Cameron has Tilenus for his adversary, he is a nervous and acute Divine.”
After the dispersion of the University of Saumur, he retired with his family into England, and settled in London, where he obtained leave to give lectures on Divinity at his own house. He was soon afterwards appointed, by royal authority, Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow. His predecessor, Robert Boyd of Trochrig, was a mighty favourite with the Puritans; and though Camero had, in early life, assented to the lax and pernicious sentiments respecting civil government maintained at that period by nearly all the Calvinists throughout Europe, yet, being a man of good sense and of a peaceable disposition, he had at length been induced to entertain such sentiments on that subject as were more in accordance with the scriptures of truth. His affair with the Parliament of Bour. deaux, and the obstinate and turbulent conduct of the men among whom he had been doomed to dwell, produced a most salutary revolution in his political opinions; and, like many other men of strong minds in that age, he refused so far to pamper the base passions of the multitude as to dignify every effervescence of popular feeling, or seditious tumult, with the elevating title of PATRIOTISM. On this account, therefore, Camero was in very low repute with his factious countrymen, who were infected with as vile a spirit of insubordination as any of their brethren on the Continent. He soon quitted Scotland and returned to France, carrying with him the reputation of enjoy. ing the friendship of King James, who certainly was an excellent judge of literary merit, though he had not always the means of being its most liberal rewarder. In allusion to this trait in the King's character, one of Cameron's adversaries says, in a work which he published, in 1637, against the Ceremonies of the Church of England, “He departed with an empty purse from his friend the King, who was otherwise a profuse monarch.”
On his arrival in France, he repaired to Saumur again, and delivered private lectures on Divinity, because the Court of France had forbidden any to be taught in public. When he had remained a year at Saumur, he was chosen Professor of Divinity at Montauban, and entered on the duties of his vocation at the close of 1624. The next year he lost his life in consequence of his strenuous opposition to the democratic and litigious opinions of the French Calvinists, whose restless spirits were at that time excited by the emissaries of the Duke de Rohan, to engage again in an armed confederacy. The following account of this tragical event was given by Peter du Moulin, whose principles and conduct were not equally pacific:
“ When Camero inveighed in that city against those who were opposed [to him in political principles,) and endeavoured to stem the torrent of popular fury by chiding or admonishing those persons whom he encountered, the populace contracted such a hatred against him that at length one of the citizens, who was a passionate man, attacked him in a horrid manner both with his fists and with cudgels, and almost killed him. Removing the covering, he offered his naked breast to the man who was beating him, and said, Wretch, strike here! After having been thus mal-treated, he retired from Montauban to the contiguous town of Moissac, to recruit his shattered frame. In a short time he returned to Montauban, where, in the course of a few days afterwards, he died through grief of mind, and peacefully fell asleep in the Lord.” (Jud. de Amyraldi Lib., p. 229.) In Andrew Rivet's Works, (tom. 3, p. 898, the circumstance of baring his breast is thus related: “To one of those persons who had uttered threats against Cameron he instantly exposed his naked breast, as soon as he had unclasped the vestment which covered it, and cried out, Wretch, strike here! He had scarcely spoken these words before the villain threw him on the ground with great violence, and would have killed him, had not a female run up to Carneron and leaned over him while he lay upon the ground; by thus covering his body with hers, she protected him from blows.” But this improved version of the fatal catastrophe must be received with much caution: It was written a long time afterwards, as a sort of popular palliation of that horrid tragedy, and an answer to the just animadversions of Grotius. In it Rivet evidently wishes to tax Cameron with great imprudence in braving danger, by opening his waistcoat to the villain who had employed threats against him. Indeed, in both productions, a feeling of malevolence towards the memory of Cameron is displayed. Peter du Moulin had incurred the censure of the French Court for his violent proceedings and seditious conduct: By him, therefore, the example of Cameron, in opposing the bad principles and infuriate behaviour of the misguided populace, would not be viewed with complacency, or represented with adequate justice.
The death of a Calvinistic pastor, who was half murdered while in the act of warning the populace against the crime of rebellion, was a circumstance of such an uncommon complexion among the Divines of that school, as to be the subject of general astonishment in the civilized and religious world. The very lax interpretation which the early pastors of the Genevan school gave to the doctrine of civil obedience, as contained in the 13th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, is matter of history; and many of them have not hesitated to bestow upon those who refuse thus to explain away some of the express commands of scripture, the opprobrious epithets of “the patrons of the Divine