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At first he sought to free himself from all suspicion of strange doctrine, to such a degree that he even defended the doctrine of the Reformed Churches concerning the satisfaction of Christ, concerning justifying faith, concerning justification through faith, concerning the perseverance of true believers, concerning the certainty of salvation, concerning the imperfection of men in this life, and other chief points of doctrine, all of which he later contradicted and which are today opposed by his disciples, contrary to his own views (as Johannes Amoldi Corvenus openly admits in a certain German document) in public disputations. But when he had served in his office for a year or two, they began to notice that Arminius was beginning to slander many doctrines accepted in the Reformed Churches, both openly and in secret, to call them into question, and to create suspicion among his pupils. For he sought to render impotent the chief proofs by which those same doctrines were established from God’s Word, using the same exceptions and subterfuges which the Jesuits, Socinians, and other enemies of the Reformed Church attempted to use; and, on the contrary, he exalted the proofs of the opposite doctrines. Moreover, he secretly gave to his disciples, to be copied, certain of his tracts, written by hand, in which he had incorporated his views. Besides, he recommended the writings of Castalio, Cornhert, Suarez and such like writers to his pupils, and spoke deprecatingly of the writings of Calvin, Beza, Martyr, Zanchius, Ursinus, and other outstanding teachers of the Reformed Churches. Yea, he also openly testified that he had many insights and suspicions against the adopted doctrine which he would in his own time reveal. Some Preachers who familiarly associated with him boasted that he had an entirely new Theology. His students, when they came home from the Academy or departed to other Academies, brazenly took position against the Reformed Churches, disputing, contradicting, and criticizing the doctrine. The Holland Churches, noting these and other things, and being rightly concerned that the orthodoxy of the Reformed doctrine was thus weakened, and that in this manner the youth, who were trained in this “greenhouse” for the hope of the churches, were being taken in by strange doctrines, and that this matter would ultimately burst forth to the great harm, disturbance, and detriment of the churches, deemed it necessary through their Delegates (to whom the common care of the churches was entrusted) to take more careful note of this entire matter, in order that at the next Synod provision might be made that the church would suffer no damage. For this reason the Deputies of the Churches, both from South and North Holland, went to Arminius and confronted him with the rumors which were being spread concerning him and concerning his doctrine, told him how much all the churches were concerned, and in a friendly manner begged him that in case he had anything to say concerning these adopted doctrines he would uprightly inform the brethren, in order that either he might be satisfied through a friendly conference, or that the whole matter might be brought to a lawful synod. Arminius answered these Deputies that he had never given just cause for such rumors, and that he did not deem it advisable to go into conference with them as with Deputies (if they would make a report of this to the Synod). But in so far as they would put aside this capacity of Deputies, he would not refuse to confer with them as with private Preachers concerning the doctrine, but with this condition, that in case they did not agree they would make absolutely no report of this to the Synod. Sinde the Deputies judged this to be improper, and since the churches would not be freed from their concern by such a conference, they parted ways with the matter unresolved. Nevertheless, they understood from the other Professors of Theology that among the students of theology various disputes and questions concerning predestination, free will, preservation of the saints, and other chief points of doctrine were conducted with great seriousness, such as had not taken place among them prior to the coming of Arminius. 

On July 26, 1604, Arminius was also admonished by the Church of Leiden, of which he was a member. Two elders of that church, the Honorable Messrs. Phaedo van Brouckeroven, Mayor of Leiden, and Paulus Merula, Professor of History, admonished him that he should come to a friendly conference with his colleagues or fellow professors in the presence of the Consistory of the Church of Leiden, to make known what he might have against the adopted doctrine. The purpose of the conference was to bring out whether he would agree or not agree with his colleagues and with the other Preachers, and to specify the points of doctrine on which there was agreement or disagreement. To this admonition of the Consistory of Leiden Arminius answered that he could not do such a thing without the consent of the Honorable Curators, and, further, that he did not see what profit the church might gain from such a conference. 

The time was then at hand for the annual Synod of the Churches of South and North Holland. According to custom, the protests of the churches of every Classis were forwarded to the Synod. And among others there was this objection from the Classis of Dordrecht: “Since the report is abroad that in the Academy in the Church of Leiden certain differences have arisen concerning the doctrine of the Reformed Churches, therefore the Classis considered it necessary that the Synod deliberate concerning the means by which these differences may be resolved in the best and speediest way, in order that all schisms and offenses which might arise from this may be promptly warded off and the unity of the Reformed Churches may be preserved against the slanders of the enemies .” Arminius took that very ill, and he did his best to have this objection recalled. When he could not achieve this, he obtained from his fellow professors, with the help of the Honorable Curators of the Academy, a testimony, August 10, in which it was declared that there were indeed more disputings among the students than pleased them, but that among the Professors of Theology themselves, as far as was known to them, there was no difference regarding the fundamentals themselves. A short time after this, August 30, the Synod of the South Holland Churches was convened in the city of Rotterdam. This Synod was given to understand by the delegates of the classis of Dordrecht that there were many and weighty reasons why they had sent this protest. The Synod also heard from the synodical deputies concerning the situation at Leiden and concerning matters under discussion with Arminius and the other professors. And after due deliberation, the Synod decided that they must promptly pursue that creeping evil and that they should not postpone the matter on the basis of the uncertain hope of the convening of a National Synod. For this reason they charged the Deputies of the Synod to find out with all diligence which points of doctrine the students of theology in the Academy of Leiden were especially disputing. Further the Deputies were instructed to request the Honorable Curators to charge the Professors of Theology to declare their views concerning these points of doctrine forthrightly and uprightly, in order that thus it might appear whether they agreed or disagreed, and in order that the churches, in so far as the differences might be either non-existent or not serious, might be freed from their concern, or, in case the differences were found to be more serious, might promptly take remedial action. The Synod, November 8, also enjoined all the ministers that they, in order to testify of their agreement in doctrine, should subscribe to the Confession of these Churches and to the Catechism—something which was neglected in many Classes and which was refused by others. 

The Deputies of the Synod, after diligent investigation of the case, delivered to the Curators nine questions about which they understood there was at that time much dispute; and they begged the Curators that they, by their authority, would demand of the Professors of Theology fully to declare their views concerning these questions. The Curators answered that there was now some hope that within a short time they would obtain a National Synod, and that they therefore deemed it more advisable to reserve those questions for the Synod, rather than to give more occasion for disunity through further investigation. There were also Ministers who had adopted the view of Arminius and who here and there in the Classes refused to obey the order of the Synod to subscribe to the Confession and the Catechism. And it increased the concern of the churches when they saw that these Ministers, banking upon the favor of some, simply despised the authority of the Synod and proceeded boldly in their purpose. For this reason, seeing that the evil could not be remedied in this manner, they showed to the States-General in detail in what great danger the churches were; and they petitioned them that the National Synod, which had now for so many years been postponed, might by their authority be decreed at the earliest opportunity, in order that this evil might be warded off. The States-General declared on November 26 that the States of all the Provinces had given their consent to the convening of a National Synod, but that there were some among them who in their letters of consent had added this condition, that at such a Synod there should be a revision of the Confession and the Catechism; on this account the States-General declared that the authorization of the National Synod could not be made without prejudice to the States of such a Province, unless this condition would be added to the decree. And since it was well-known who it was that had for some years advised the States of Holland that this condition should be added, and who were pressing for this, and since it was to be feared that if this was stated in the letters convening the Synod, that those who sought change in the doctrine would misuse it for their own purpose, and since, moreover, it would cause no small offense to the Churches (especially in the present situation), as though the States or the Churches themselves had doubts concerning the truth of the doctrine contained in this Confession and Catechism, therefore the Deputies of the Church requested, November 30, that the convening of the Synod be authorized and proclaimed in general terms, as they say, according to the old custom. Further, the Deputies pointed out that this clause did not appear to be necessary, seeing that in all National Synods it was permitted that, if anyone thought to have any objection against any article of the creeds, he might present the same freely and according to proper order.

At first he sought to free himself from all suspicion of strange doctrine, to such a degree that he even defended the doctrine of the Reformed Churches concerning the satisfaction of Christ, concerning justifying faith, concerning justification through faith, concerning the perseverance of true believers, concerning the certainty of salvation, concerning the imperfection of men in this life, and other chief points of doctrine, all of which he later contradicted and which are today opposed by his disciples, contrary to his own views (as Johannes Amoldi Corvenus openly admits in a certain German document) in public disputations. But when he had served in his office for a year or two, they began to notice that Arminius was beginning to slander many doctrines accepted in the Reformed Churches, both openly and in secret, to call them into question, and to create suspicion among his pupils. For he sought to render impotent the chief proofs by which those same doctrines were established from God’s Word, using the same exceptions and subterfuges which the Jesuits, Socinians, and other enemies of the Reformed Church attempted to use; and, on the contrary, he exalted the proofs of the opposite doctrines. Moreover, he secretly gave to his disciples, to be copied, certain of his tracts, written by hand, in which he had incorporated his views. Besides, he recommended the writings of Castalio, Cornhert, Suarez and such like writers to his pupils, and spoke deprecatingly of the writings of Calvin, Beza, Martyr, Zanchius, Ursinus, and other outstanding teachers of the Reformed Churches. Yea, he also openly testified that he had many insights and suspicions against the adopted doctrine which he would in his own time reveal. Some Preachers who familiarly associated with him boasted that he had an entirely new Theology. His students, when they came home from the Academy or departed to other Academies, brazenly took position against the Reformed Churches, disputing, contradicting, and criticizing the doctrine. The Holland Churches, noting these and other things, and being rightly concerned that the orthodoxy of the Reformed doctrine was thus weakened, and that in this manner the youth, who were trained in this “greenhouse” for the hope of the churches, were being taken in by strange doctrines, and that this matter would ultimately burst forth to the great harm, disturbance, and detriment of the churches, deemed it necessary through their Delegates (to whom the common care of the churches was entrusted) to take more careful note of this entire matter, in order that at the next Synod provision might be made that the church would suffer no damage. For this reason the Deputies of the Churches, both from South and North Holland, went to Arminius and confronted him with the rumors which were being spread concerning him and concerning his doctrine, told him how much all the churches were concerned, and in a friendly manner begged him that in case he had anything to say concerning these adopted doctrines he would uprightly inform the brethren, in order that either he might be satisfied through a friendly conference, or that the whole matter might be brought to a lawful synod. Arminius answered these Deputies that he had never given just cause for such rumors, and that he did not deem it advisable to go into conference with them as with Deputies (if they would make a report of this to the Synod). But in so far as they would put aside this capacity of Deputies, he would not refuse to confer with them as with private Preachers concerning the doctrine, but with this condition, that in case they did not agree they would make absolutely no report of this to the Synod. Sinde the Deputies judged this to be improper, and since the churches would not be freed from their concern by such a conference, they parted ways with the matter unresolved. Nevertheless, they understood from the other Professors of Theology that among the students of theology various disputes and questions concerning predestination, free will, preservation of the saints, and other chief points of doctrine were conducted with great seriousness, such as had not taken place among them prior to the coming of Arminius. 

On July 26, 1604, Arminius was also admonished by the Church of Leiden, of which he was a member. Two elders of that church, the Honorable Messrs. Phaedo van Brouckeroven, Mayor of Leiden, and Paulus Merula, Professor of History, admonished him that he should come to a friendly conference with his colleagues or fellow professors in the presence of the Consistory of the Church of Leiden, to make known what he might have against the adopted doctrine. The purpose of the conference was to bring out whether he would agree or not agree with his colleagues and with the other Preachers, and to specify the points of doctrine on which there was agreement or disagreement. To this admonition of the Consistory of Leiden Arminius answered that he could not do such a thing without the consent of the Honorable Curators, and, further, that he did not see what profit the church might gain from such a conference. 

The time was then at hand for the annual Synod of the Churches of South and North Holland. According to custom, the protests of the churches of every Classis were forwarded to the Synod. And among others there was this objection from the Classis of Dordrecht: “Since the report is abroad that in the Academy in the Church of Leiden certain differences have arisen concerning the doctrine of the Reformed Churches, therefore the Classis considered it necessary that the Synod deliberate concerning the means by which these differences may be resolved in the best and speediest way, in order that all schisms and offenses which might arise from this may be promptly warded off and the unity of the Reformed Churches may be preserved against the slanders of the enemies .” Arminius took that very ill, and he did his best to have this objection recalled. When he could not achieve this, he obtained from his fellow professors, with the help of the Honorable Curators of the Academy, a testimony, August 10, in which it was declared that there were indeed more disputings among the students than pleased them, but that among the Professors of Theology themselves, as far as was known to them, there was no difference regarding the fundamentals themselves. A short time after this, August 30, the Synod of the South Holland Churches was convened in the city of Rotterdam. This Synod was given to understand by the delegates of the classis of Dordrecht that there were many and weighty reasons why they had sent this protest. The Synod also heard from the synodical deputies concerning the situation at Leiden and concerning matters under discussion with Arminius and the other professors. And after due deliberation, the Synod decided that they must promptly pursue that creeping evil and that they should not postpone the matter on the basis of the uncertain hope of the convening of a National Synod. For this reason they charged the Deputies of the Synod to find out with all diligence which points of doctrine the students of theology in the Academy of Leiden were especially disputing. Further the Deputies were instructed to request the Honorable Curators to charge the Professors of Theology to declare their views concerning these points of doctrine forthrightly and uprightly, in order that thus it might appear whether they agreed or disagreed, and in order that the churches, in so far as the differences might be either non-existent or not serious, might be freed from their concern, or, in case the differences were found to be more serious, might promptly take remedial action. The Synod, November 8, also enjoined all the ministers that they, in order to testify of their agreement in doctrine, should subscribe to the Confession of these Churches and to the Catechism—something which was neglected in many Classes and which was refused by others. 

The Deputies of the Synod, after diligent investigation of the case, delivered to the Curators nine questions about which they understood there was at that time much dispute; and they begged the Curators that they, by their authority, would demand of the Professors of Theology fully to declare their views concerning these questions. The Curators answered that there was now some hope that within a short time they would obtain a National Synod, and that they therefore deemed it more advisable to reserve those questions for the Synod, rather than to give more occasion for disunity through further investigation. There were also Ministers who had adopted the view of Arminius and who here and there in the Classes refused to obey the order of the Synod to subscribe to the Confession and the Catechism. And it increased the concern of the churches when they saw that these Ministers, banking upon the favor of some, simply despised the authority of the Synod and proceeded boldly in their purpose. For this reason, seeing that the evil could not be remedied in this manner, they showed to the States-General in detail in what great danger the churches were; and they petitioned them that the National Synod, which had now for so many years been postponed, might by their authority be decreed at the earliest opportunity, in order that this evil might be warded off. The States-General declared on November 26 that the States of all the Provinces had given their consent to the convening of a National Synod, but that there were some among them who in their letters of consent had added this condition, that at such a Synod there should be a revision of the Confession and the Catechism; on this account the States-General declared that the authorization of the National Synod could not be made without prejudice to the States of such a Province, unless this condition would be added to the decree. And since it was well-known who it was that had for some years advised the States of Holland that this condition should be added, and who were pressing for this, and since it was to be feared that if this was stated in the letters convening the Synod, that those who sought change in the doctrine would misuse it for their own purpose, and since, moreover, it would cause no small offense to the Churches (especially in the present situation), as though the States or the Churches themselves had doubts concerning the truth of the doctrine contained in this Confession and Catechism, therefore the Deputies of the Church requested, November 30, that the convening of the Synod be authorized and proclaimed in general terms, as they say, according to the old custom. Further, the Deputies pointed out that this clause did not appear to be necessary, seeing that in all National Synods it was permitted that, if anyone thought to have any objection against any article of the creeds, he might present the same freely and according to proper order.