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pious and very judicious remarks which Grotius made upon this communication, I have inserted in pages 280282 ;* and on the 1st of Feb. in the same year, he addressed the subjoined letter to Dury, which contains a distinct avowal of his own invariable attachment to pacific measures, (page 551) and a significant allusion to the seditious practices of the Calvinists, to whose machinations in England against the Church and State Dury was then a contributor both by his presence and advice:
“Very reverend Sir,—The intensity of the desire which I have always felt, and the extent of my personal exertions, to diminish the dissensions and to lessen the differences between professing christians, and thus by degrees to restore, according to the command of Christ, the bond of union which is at present in too loose a condition, are circumstances well known to many persons. Of those wishes and labours I have several witnesses, who knew me in my former country (Holland]; and I might appeal to you, reverend and famous man, to testify concerning my efforts in reference to those matters which have since been under discussion either in Germany or in Sweden.-When I attentively consider all things, I plainly perceive, that among the Protestants of different kingdoms, there is no authority, out of reverence to which those parties who dissent from each other in opinions or ceremonies can be induced to accept equitable terms of concord. Besides, those who express a high esteem for Luther accuse those who, in preference, are followers of Calvin,--that, into what State soever they have hitherto gained * admittance, they immediately promote in it their own interests,
* In that letter two other brief passages occur, which I now subjoin. In allusion to Archbishop Laud's in prisonment, Grotius says:
« The misfortunes which have oppressed this great man, furnish Vossius with no reasons for concealing or lightly esteeming the fact of his having been agreeable to the Archbishop: Vossius is more timid than any man of his age ought to be."- I called the reader's attention (page 664) to the difference in this particular between the conduct of Grotius and that of Vossius. The former bad received no favour from the Prelate, but had, on more occasions than ove, been treated with some degree of discourtesy and neglect: Yet he shewed himself to be as far above the mercenary motives and time-serving views of common minds, as he excelled them in talents and genius; and his exertions and good wishes for Archbishop Laud were the more earnestly excited when he perceived him unjustly persecuted. But Vossius, who enjoyed a sinecure in the Church through the Archbishop's interest, yielded to the times, and was silent when be heard the reputation of his patron assailed with calumnies, though he considered him, with the exception of a few human frailties, one of the greatest and best of mortals. Let the motive assigned for this wary behaviour be timidity, or any similar feeling, the generosity of De Groot's character is rendered the more conspicuous by the comparison.
The other extract relates to some passages in his early productions, written, iu favour of the republican form of government, under which he was born, that were afterwards quoted to his injury. “In former days," he says, “ under the strong impulse of love to my country, I wrote pot a few things, to which I now judge it necessary to apply some remedial or extenuating expressions, for the purpose of disburdening my conscience : This will be done by means of that Appendix." See pages 214 and 640.
• by methods which savour more of the flesh than of the Spirit of • God!'-Yet these considerations do not prevent me from addressing earnest prayers to the Chief Shepherd for the concord of the whole of his flock, and for the manifestation of his favour towards those whose study it is, not to form parties out of a compact body, but to inake out of different parties soine kind of solid union. May God prosper all pious counsels, may He give increase to the doctrines which are favourable to piety, and remove those which are injurious! Unless I am much deceived, the answer to these prayers will be the most compendious way to peace. May God bestow on you, reverend sir, all the choicest and most desirable of his Gifts !"
To complete the account of Dury and his efforts for a general pacification, I subjoin the following brief notice from Mosheim:
“ The most eminent of the Calvinistical peace-makers was John Dureus, a native of Scotland, and a man justly celebrated for his universal benevolence, solid piety, and extensive learning; but, at the same time, more remarkable for genius and memory, than for nicety of discernment and accuracy of judgment,* as might be evinced by several proofs and testimonies, were this
* Bayle tells us, “ that Dury was an honest mau, full of zeal and piety, but that he at length hecame somewhat fanatical." He gives an instance of his enthusiasm : Bury published at Frankfort, in 1674, a small treatise ju French, entitled " Of understanding the Apocalypse by itself, as all the Holy Scripture ought reasonably to be understood." In the work itself, he acknowledges the fact I have related in page 751 : “Since I now find myself obliged to terminate these pacific proceedings, because they (the Lutherans] will no longer hold any correspondence with me concerning the propositions, which have been regularly offered to them all and are absolutely unexceptionable, I have adopted a resolution more general.-My new attempt is not at all different from the former, with respect to the substance of the evangelical work, but only with respect to the e.rtent of the application of my labour, and the method of insinuating into the consciences of those to whom 1 address myself. For I would no longer confine my application to the Protestants; but my view is, to comprehend all Christians divided into factions, contrary to the end of the heavenly calling which is proposed in the Gospel." - It is not the least remarkable circumstance, thai Dury should at length find it necessary to imitate Grotius, Laud, and other eminent christian pacificators, in admitting the Papists and the Greek Christians into his plan of evangelical union.
His reasons for choosing the Apocalypse are curious: “In case any doubt arises about the true sense of the Holy Scripture, it is not necessary to do any thing more than to turn immediately to one passage, or to several, in which the controverted subject is mentioned; and the true sense of the Scripture being found out by the common rule of interpretation, the controversy is thereby immediately determined. I have chosen the Apocalypse, or Revelation of St. John, which is acknowledged without dispute to be the darkest and most difficult of the whole Bible; that, by describing the method which leads us to a true understanding of it, we nay know that the same method will discover to us the sense, and shew us the true meaning, of the other books and passages of the Holy Scripture which are less difficult.”
But Dury did not then, for the first time, expound his mystical plan of interpreting the Revelation. As early as 1650, while he remained in England without employment, he published his famous “ Epistolical Discourse to Mr. Samuel Harilib, concerning this Exposition of the Revelation," from which I have given some extracts in page 617.
the proper place for discussions of that nature.
Be that as it will, never, perhaps, was there such an example of zeal and per
That book, like Sir Henry Vane’s, quoted in page 513, contained
several u mi fectly answer the sanguine expectations of their Calvinistic creators.
part he says: “ It is the BEAST's way of government to enforce obedience by violence; but it is said of the Lanıb upon Mount Sion, that his flock of one hundred and forty-four thousand lambs did follow him whither soever he went; to shew that the vice-gerents of Christ, which are appointed to rule bis people in his name, go before their brethren in the way of righteousness, and such as are true Christians indeed follow them out of a loving inclination. And this is the best way of government that can be settled amongst men; namely, to bring all to imitate Christ Jesus on all sides, both they that bear rule, and they that are ruled. Now how far OUR RULERS are bent this way, I shall refer it to their own conscience to consider; and how far THEIR SUBJECTS set themselves through love to follow that wherein they go before them in righteousness, I shall not need to mention. But I may take up a woeful lamentation, that some, who ought most to encourage their • fellow-subjects to this duty, are most averse from it themselves, and dis
affect others from it.' "-In a subsequent page, he says, “ So then, as amongst us, so also in all Europe, the Papal hierarchie may be cast off, and yet the beast's rage he greater than ever for the interest of a tyrannical power, as well over the consciences as over the bodies and estates of men; and that, two manner of ways : (1) either by the ABSOLUTENESS of a governing power through the necessities of war, enforcing all men to concur with the interests which it settles for common safety, to preserve us in freedom from a foreign power; or (2) by a total disSOLUTION OF ALL GOVERNMENT, wberein every man who hath inore might than his neighbour may take a liberty to tyrannize over him, and oppress him without controul.”—And another passage contains the following broad intimation : “ If then the governors of a people make use of their power to satisfy the inclinations of Hesh and blood, in fulfilling their lusts and sensual affections, without any due respect upto the end of their place; but [if they seek by mere force to make their will a law to their subjects, by bringing them to an absolute sub. jection, that they may suffer themselves to be ruled as beasts use to be ruled by men, who, being ignorant of the desigus of men, are led only by sensual objects of pleasure and terror; if (I say) any governors have this aim, and follow the ways by which this kind of greatness over others may be established, they ought to take notice of themselves, and uthers may observe it also of them, that they are none other but the dragon's vice-gerents on earth, and that they rule in his name and in his way over the sons of men.
It was for the publication of passages like these, that Cromwell ordered his quondam friend, Sir Henry Vane, into confinement in Carisbrook Castle,-a most singular instance of the retributive acts of Divine Providence, when contemplated with the fate of that uuhappy individual! The Lord Protector devised suitable employment abroad' for Dury, who had spoken with too much artlessness about domestic affairs ; though, according to the subjoined passage in ANCILLON's Melange Critique, it appears Oliver was not so liberal to him in pecuniary matters, as Archbishop Laud and other English Prelates had formerly been : “ Dury told us, [Ancillon and Ferri,] that he did not meet with any difficulty from the Princes of Germany and the Kings of the North, and that there were only some clergymen who made objections against that great and desirable work, and opposed it. He was very well satisfied with the charity of the gentlemen of Zurich, who had furnished him with large sums of movey for his travels, and for supplying what he might want beside what the Protector allowed him. We encouraged him, as much as we could, to continue his labours till be had performed his design."
A subsequent note will exhibit Dury's novel plan of interpreting the Apocalypse; and, from the obvious similarity between his mystical views and those of Vane, he may be justly reckoned one of that old and astute politician's disciples.
severance as that exhibited by Dureus, who, during the space of forty years, suffered vexations, and underwent labours, which required the firmest resolution, and the most inexhaustible patience; wrote, exhorted, admonished, entreated, and disputed; in a word, tried every method that human wisdom could suggest, to put an end to the dissensions and animosities that reigned among the Protestant Churches.
For it was not merely by the persuasive eloquence of his pen, or by forming plans in the silence of the closet, that this worthy divine performed the task which his benevolence and zeal engaged him to undertake; his activity and industry were equal to his zeal; he travelled through all the countries in Europe, where the Protestant religion had obtained any footing; he formed connections with the doctors of both parties; he addressed himself to kings, princes, magistrates, and ministers; and by representing, in lively and striking colours, the utility and importance of the plan he had formed, hoped to engage them more or less in this good cause, or at least to derive some succour from their influence and protection. But here his views were considerably disappointed; for though his undertaking was generally applauded, and though he met with a favourable and civil reception from the greatest part of those to whom he addressed himself, yet he found
few who were seriously disposed to alleviate his labours, by lending him their assistance, and seconding his attempts by their influence and counsels. Nay, some suspecting that the fervent and extraordinary zeal of Dureus arose from mysterious and sinister motives, and apprehending that he had secretly formed a design of drawing the Lutherans into a snare, attacked him in their writings with animosity and bitterness, and loaded him with the sharpest invectives and reproaches. So that this well-meaning man, neglected at length by those of his own communion, opposed and rejected by the followers of Luther, involved in various perplexities and distress, exhausted by unsuccessful labour, and oppressed and dejected by injurious treatment, perceived by a painful experience, that he had undertaken a task which was beyond the power of a private person, and spent the remainder of his days in repose and obscurity at Cassel.*
“ It may not be improper to observe here, that Dureus, who, notwithstanding the uprightness of his intentions in general, was sometimes deficient in frankness and ingenuity,+ hadannexed
* Bayle says : “ Hedwige Sophia, Princess of Hesse, who was invested with the regency, assigned Dury very commodious quarters with a table well furnished, and had granted him free postage of his letters. For these favours he returns her his thanks, in the Epistle Dedicatory to the book, which has been quoted in the preceding note.
+ Those who have read the declarations made by Dury, at different times, concerning various denominations of professing Christians, according to the precedeuce which each of them gained during the troubles in England, might be tempted to consider him a sort of “ Vicar of Bray," a changeling
to his plan of reconciliation certain doctrines which, were they susceptible of proof, would serve as a foundation for the union, not only of the Lutherans and Calvinists, but also of all the different sects that bear the Christian name. For, among other things, he maintained, that the Apostles' Creed was a complete body of divinity; the Ten Commandments, a perfect system of morals; and the Lord's Prayer, a comprehensive series of petitions for all the blessings contained in the divine promises. Now if this notion, that these sacred compositions contain all that is essential to faith, obedience, and devotion, had been universally entertained, or evidently demonstrated, it would not have been a chimerical project to aim at a reconciliation of all christian Churches upon this basis, and to render these compositions the foundation of their co-alition and the bond of their union. But it would have been highly chimerical to expect, that the Christian sects would universally adopt this notion, or be pleased to see the doctrines of Christianity reduced to such general principles. It is further to be observed, with respect to Dureus, that he shewed a peculiar propensity towards the sentiments of the Mystics and Quakers,* on account of their tendency to favour his conciliatory and pacific project. Like them, he placed the eswho spoke well of each succeeding ecclesiastical regimen, and depreciated those which were abrogated. I do not impute this trait in his character to any “ deficiency in frankness and ingenuousoess,” but to that habit which he had acquired, his pacific negotiatious, of making large adınissions to the prejudices of the parties with whom he conferred.
* His plan of interpreting the Apocalypse, to which allusion is made in page 754, is in proof of this, as the reader will perceive by the subjoined
Although a man should fully believe, and be able demonstratively to prove the truth of the accomplishment of all the events, (as this author doth make them to me very probable ;) yet he might fall short of that spiritual understanding whereuuto this promise is made, chap. i, 3, Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: I shall therefore say, that there must be a certain reading and hearing of this prophecy, which briugs a blessedness with it, so that he who reads and hears in that kind, is enabled to keep the things which are written therein. And as there is such a reading and hearing, so there must be a sense, and an interpretation of that sense, which is able to fit a man for the keeping of the things which are written therein. And if there must be such an interpretation for that kiud of hearing, then there must be also a key and rule of interpretatiou answer able to that sense, which is immediately subordinate unto the promise of blessedness. For that this bare historical sense of the accomplishment of the visions is not that whereupon, properly, the promise of blessedness is intailed, is clear, because a man may be fully convicted of the truth of this and believe it, and may demonstrate it unto others, and yet himself not keep the things which are written in this prophecy. Moreover, that reading and hearing whereunto the promise of a blessing is annexed, must needs be proportionate to the capacity of all men that make sincere profession of Christianity; but this reading and hearing, which is thus grouuded upon the historical and chronological interpretation of the visions, is not proportionate to the capacity of all sincere professors; and therefore it cannot be taken for that reading and hearing whereunto the promise of a blessing is annexed; and consequently there must be some other interpretation found, which is immediately subordinate unto this effect.