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that was lawful and honourable. This he could do with a far better grace as the Ambassador of a great Queen, than when he was waiting for employment at the Court of France, and manfully refused to listen to the solicitations, with which he was constantly pestered, to change his religion.* Though he
his confinement; on which occasion Grotius addressed a very able despatch to the British Ministry, through Lord Scudamore, in behalf of the Elector's affairs, to which he alluded on the 14th of August 1640, in the following letter to Camerarius, the Swedish Ambassador at the Hague : “ The Prince Elector is liberated on bis parole of honour, yet in such a way as to be restrained, in the judgment of the French ministry, (by a bond whích he executed and has left in the King's hand,) from doing any thing contrary to the interest of France. He has proceeded on his journey to his mother and the Dutch, to wait among them and see what the English and the Danes will do for him in Germany. "I am exceedingly grieved at the vicissitudes of a prince who has been so long a time contending with adverse fortune ; and I'wrote iuto England, to Viscount Scudamore, who was formerly Ambassador at this Court and is high in favour with the Archbishop of Canterbury. I suggested to him, that it might be worthy of consideration, whether, on entering into a treaty with Sweden, that House might be restored to a better condition ; and whether, by the same means, the wild and ferocious spirits of the Scots might not be softened, combustible materials be withdrawn from internal commotions, and a way opened for procuring the liberty of Germany and a good peace to Christendom.-The Viscount replied, that both himself and other Englishmen desired nothing with greater earnestuess than to behold some relief afforded to the Electoral house; but that no great hopes were yet entertained of concord with the Scots; and that, before the King could apply his mind to the care of foreign concerns, every attempt must he • made to induce his subjects to return to their duty.' The rest of the letter was politely expressed.”
In a subsequent letter to the same individual, Grotius says: “I pity the fate of the excellent king of Great Britain in having the Scots bis enemies, and the English as subjects but little inclined to yield obedience. When England had it in her power to assist the Prince Palatine, she refused ; and now, when she is extremely willing, she is prevented by her domestic troubles from rendering him any assistance. I am likewise afraid, that the same prince will be forced to wait a long time in expectation of some sincerity from the king of Denmark. We must beseech God to explain this matter by his own power, which we are unable to solve by human counsels.” On the 29th of Sept. Grotius records an observation made by one of the Freuch ministers to him : “ If the king of Great Britain had entered into our trea. ty, he would not only have consulted the welfare of the Electoral Family and the affairs of Germany, but would likewise have found at home more obedient subiects, who suspect the existence of Spanish influence at the Court of England.”
During the troubles in'England, the Electoral family, in imitation of many others, became divided : The Queen of Bohemia, and her two sons, Prince Rupert and Maurice, adhered to the cause and the fortunes of the Royal party. The young Elector, who had undoubtedly, in his own person and in that of his father, experienced great apparent neglect from the English Court, juined the ranks of the Parliamentarians; and it is related of him with triumph, that he often sat as a member of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. His morbid feelings against the royal family of England were encouraged by the republican party to which he had attached himself; but after all the boasted exploits of Oliver Cromwell in his favour, he only obtained by the treaty of Westphalia the possession of the Lower Palatinate, a portion of his hereditary dominions which had been offered many years before, through his royal uncle's ambassador, but which was then refused.
* I bave given some account, in page 591, of the troubles which Grotius was called to suffer during his exile in France. The following extracts from his letters will more fully develope this part of his misfortunes. In one
never forsook the cause or the interests of the Arminians, yet his peculiar situation had prevented him during many years from uniting in communion with them, and he now considered
addressed to his friend Du Maurier in 1626 he says : “ At the time when I received your letter, my wife, after an unsettled state of health of some months' continuance, was under medical treatment and in imminent bazard of her life: Before such a prudent estimator of human affairs as yourself, it is unnecessary to expatiate on the augmentation of suffering when endured in a foreign land, in which it is a work of the greatest difficulty to find a single friend on whom to place dependence. Eight long years have now elapsed since we have been debarred, partly by a prison and partly by exile, from the sight of our parents, and of every other object which, next to our parents, is dear to us in our pative country. In the mean time our enemies not only hold possession of the government, but offer their
insults to us at this distance ; and the very men who have risen to power by their scurrilous invectives against the French name, now abuse the power which they have gained in oppressing us in France itself. The second year is nearly completed since any regard has been paid to me in Paris, except that all those seductive arts are practised towards me which have a tendency to cast down a generous mind from its high station. I find no solace against these numerous adversities, except in the sight and company of my wife and children, whom my infelicity has brought into this state of misery. Time will shew what the Prince of Orange will do ; be complains, that he is incapable of doing much. But if our portion of good fortune is dependent on bis, we are deprived even of this ground of hope, for he has been"-unsuccessful in some of his enterprizes, &c. The remainder of the letter is composed in a less despouding style, and breathes more of the spirit of the christian hero, a character which peculiarly belonged to Grotius.
In a letter addressed to the same friend a year afterwards, he thus alludes to the prospects of his return to Holland, to which his affectionate wife had repaired for the purpose of reconnoitring : “ perused your letter with that sort of feeling which possesses me whenever I see your writing; it was also read with no less affection by my wife, who has now been nearly two months with me.
In our pative land she found multitudes of friends. She would not become a suppliant to any one for my return; for she was afraid that the bare expression of such
a desire might be interpreted into an acknowledgment of guilt. This circumstance inflamed those men who are hostile to me, for no other reason than because they once begun to injure me ; and to such a height have they carried their hatred, as to revive the old slander, with which they formerly charged my relative Reigersberg, of having addressed letters to me.
In 1629, Grotius gave the same friend the following information : “ It is my disposition to rejoice at the welfare of my country without any regard to my own advantage; because I have learnt, in books and by experience, that all the charities are contained in that title: For I am as ignorant as yourself of what will be my future condition. I am aware that both the goodness and the power of the Prince of Orange are increased with his prosperity; but l know, at the same time, Princes are frequently lavish in promising to do many things which they would not wish' to be done, and to abstain from the performance of other things of which they would approve when completed. Whatever the Prince may do or not do, I am prepared to give the most favourable interpretation to his conduct, and will inure myself to bear disasters, if any yet await me after ten years of sorrow. There are some among the nobles and chief men in Paris, who bonour me with their countenance and society. In reference to my pension, if it does not proceed exactly according to my wishes, I have some ground of consolation in the common misfortune of many beside myself. I lament to live here in a state of inactivity, and of no use to the king and kingdom of France, in which I have found a safe abode; yet I will not on this account swerve in the least point from the ancient institutions,” that is, be refused to yield to the pressing importunities of those who wished him to become a Papist.
himself a member of the Lutheran Church, by being a subject of the Queen of Sweden. Those who have carefully perused the Augsburgh Confession, especially the twelfth and fifteenth_Articles of Belief, those on the abuses of the Mass, and other Popish traditions, will not require to be informed, that the ambassador of a Lutheran nation had, in the execution of such an excellent undertaking as the reconciliation of Protestants with Papists, fewer prejudices to renounce than a member of any other Protestant community. It was his full persuasion, that the Providence of God had placed him in this high situaton, “that he might speak with freedom, and not be afraid of the virulent pens of Marets, Du Moulin, and others.”. (See pages 279, 281.) Besides, the accurate knowledge of antiquity which Grotius possessed enabled him to distinguish between the precious and the vile, the innocent and the hurtful, of the Romish rites and ceremonies. His views and exertions in this sacred cause have been amply detailed in the preceding pages of this Appendix, (269—293,) and I will here add only a few elucidations of the earnestness and good faith with which he embarked in the enterprize.
On the 24th of March 1640, he writes thus to his brother : “ Nothing has excited christian princes to cruelty so much as those harsh sayings about the Pope being Antichrist, the Papists denying the merits of Christ, and their idolatry. Wherefore we must often and carefully examine whether those assertions be correct. Unless this be done, what hope remains of restoring the unity of the church, which we profess in the Apostles' Creed, and which Christ has commanded ? I disdain to admit into my calculation the odium which I shall incur in the prosecution of such a pious purpose. What man, that was afraid of this, ever healed confirmed and inveterate vices? There are some persons in what is called the Romish Church, who fall into errors, but all of them are not of that class; and their errors do not consist either of those doctrines which are generally received, or of those which were confirmed at the Council of Trent. If on some of these you entertain any doubt, I will most willingly compare my reasons with yours or with those of others. But
In 1630, Grotius addressed the following lines to his old friend Gerard Vossius : “ do not know whether the wisbes which you express for me ought to be indulged as objects of my desire. I have a country in my parents, my relatives, and in such friends as yourself and others of your mould; of whose presence with me I feel no doubt, by their affection for me and their kind remembrance. But it forms no great portion of my wishes, to behold other individuals, through whom Holland, instead of being my native land, is become a cruel step-mother; and you know it to be one of the properties of the human heart, to hate those whom it has deeply injured. I can scarcely therefore be induced to expect any equity from those who have treated us in such an unworthy manner, wben it would neither have been unjust nor unreasonable in us to hope for some rewards from the public. In the mean time, my books continue to extort commendations from good men; and they also serve to shew bad men what kind of person I have been and now am."
I am certain, that even in this part the Prostestants exceed all moderation; for, in their desire to accuse the Papists, they accuse the whole of the Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Coptic churches, for many ages past; and thus, by their imprudence, they spontaneously array and arm their adversaries. Let us not therefore confound those things which antiquity has kept distinct; let us not remove the ancient land-marks.”
On the 8th of April 1640, he again addresses him thus: “ If on any subject we may be allowed to exercise a freedom of opinion, it ought certainly to be on the prophecies; particularly, since the Protestants have published nearly a hundred books about them, which are greatly discordant with each other, and of which eighty have been printed in England alone, as I have been informed by the English ambassadors.* In such cir. cumstances, while it is shameful to keep silence, it is the act of an imprudent man to be induced to deliver his opinion. I am not grieved at common report, for pointing me out as the author [of the Appendix to his tract on Antichrist]; that rumour will make the book so much the more saleable. But I wish particularly to know, whether the books be erery where on sale, and whether they are forwarded into France and England: If this be not done, I wish nothing more of mine to be delivered to the De Bleaus. I am in search of a publisher, who will obey me, and who will not gratify other people at my expence and contrary to my inclinations. For there cannot be a doubt, that enemies and pretended friends will expend all their energies to stifle this production in its birth; on this account therefore it is the more reasonable for me, and for those who really love me, to exert ourselves in preserving, cherishing and rendering it vigorous. I shall never consider the sentiments of those men to be orthodox, who wish to defend and propagate religion by arms and sedition.”
On the 14th of the same month he addressed the following expressive lines to his brother: “ I remain confirmed in my purpose of seeking peace, or at least a way that may lead to
It is frequently necessary to strive against the current. But I am not the only person that has engaged in such an arduous undertaking : Erasmus, Cassander, Vecelius, and Casaubon have stemmed the torrent before me, and De Milletiere is now running against the stream. The Cardinal [Richelieu]
* This was written in 1640. In the succeeding twenty years of civil broils and religious confusion, I think it would not be difficult to enumerate nearly two hundred new books and pamphlets on different portions of the prophetical scriptures, that were within that period published in Great Britain. Modern readers would be surprised at the number of learned and sensible men, who attempted to give their own interpretation to various scriptural predictions; but bow fanciful soever those interpretations might be, all of them arrived at the same conclusion-the prosperity of the Calvinistic interest throughout Europe, and the downfall of Popery and Arminianism which were generally associated with each other. I have a copy of a small treatise entitled “ The
professes himself to be the patron of this business; he is sp fortunate a man as never yet to have attempted any enterprize in which he has not succeeded. Even Veron, [the Jesuit] who has hiREVELATION, &c. written by a German D. D. and, for the rareness of the subject and benefit of the English nation, translated out of High Dutch, &c. 1651. The translator of this curious book was the celebrated Samuel Hartlib, whom Evelyn in 1655 styled “ an honest and learned, a publicspirited and ingenious person, who had propagated many useful things and arts." He seems to have been by birth a Lithuanian, and was intimate with all the eminent literary characters of that period. He was one of Joseph Mede's best correspondents; and Miltou honoured him by dedicating his Tructate of Education to him. Comenius also, the famous manufacturer of prophecies for all occasions, (pages 258-262) was his particular friend, and transmitted this treatise “ from Lissa in Poland, where most of the exiled Bohemians have had their residence since the time of their banishment." Hartlib dedicates his translation“ to the right honourable Oliver St. John," and tells him, among other things, “ In public you have owned me towards the Parliament, and procured an aspect from that bigh and honourable Court towards me, to set me apart as an agent for the advancement of Universal Learning and the Public Good, which, I confess, is an employment whereuntu from my youth God hath naturalized my affections."
But this is not the sole curiosity in the small volúme: It contains,“ by way of Preface thereunto, an epistolical Discourse (in 79 crowded pages from Mr. John Durie,” the christian pacificator. The following extract from the commencement of Dury's Preface will confirun the observations in pages 264 & 266, respecting the extraordinary fanaticism which was then excited among the Calvinists in England and on the Continent.
Concerning the author he says : “ He doth not arrogate unto himself any infallibility, but only hath offered that which seemeth most likely to him to be the mind of God in the prophecy ; whereof the truth will soon be known, whether his conjecture be right or no; because he brings the matter within the compass of five years to be tried by the event: which is no long time of expectation; and whether he hath bit right in this or not, it can he no prejudice to us to take warning to be ready always : for we are sure the time is uot far.
“ I look then upon this book,(which doth open, to the Bohemian exiled and German churches, the counsel of God foretold so long ago in the Revelation, and now shortly to be accomplished,) as a special cordial sent unto them from heaven in their present affliction and to support their hearts against the approaching visitation, wherewith God's providence will farther visit those parts, before he make an end of his work amongst them. And that it is now also at this juncture of time sent from thence unto us, to me it doth signify that which is very considerable in several respects, which I shall briefly point at before I come to speak of the treatise itself.
“ FIRST, then, we may observe from hence, that the same Spirit who doth raise the expectation of the saints in these parts, doth also work the like thoughts elsewhere. As it is observable, that, about the time of Christ's coming in the flesh, there was much waiting for the consolation of Israel, and looking for the redemption of Jerusalem, as Luke doth intimate; (ii, 25, 38,) so it is now worth our consideration, that there is more than an ordinary looking out for the accomplishment of the promises, wherein the Revelation of Jesus Christ hath caused us to bope. You know, that, some months ago, one came of purpose (as he said) out of Germany, through the Low Countries, into this city, to make inquiries whether any were here who did look after the fulfilling of the Revelation. His design by the enquiry was, that some ground of communication and good intelligence might be entertained amongst us, for the better understanding of God's ways, and the observation of his footsteps in working out his great work for the churches. And to this effect he left some books here with him whom you know; and, since his return into the Low Countries, he hath by letters promised a further communication with us upon that subject, in the name of his colleague. Thus we have had a call both from Germany and Poland, to entertain these thoughts.