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 Ger
We make only a short statement by way of introduction to the following pamphlet. Just because the Reformation of the church is now a relevant issue, Luther’s 400th anniversary has a more urgent significance. Also in Luther’s day men did not thoughtlessly begin the demolition of what was incurably filled with dry rot. A lengthy and earnest study of church polity preceded Luther’s appearance, and in a number of writings the matter of the Reformation of the churches was at that time earlier advocated.
To this the States-General declared that this clause must not be understood as if by it they wanted something in the doctrine of these Churches changes, seeing that review does not always bring with it change, but can also imply establishment of the doctrine. But even so, they declared that the clause could not be left out without the preceding judgment of this Province, which had expressly added it. Accordingly, on March 15, 1606, they gave to the Deputies of the Churches letters of consent in which this clause was also included.
Many among them also showed that this was their mandate from their Churches and also from the States of their Provinces. This division of judgment and advice constituted a new obstacle to the National Synod. For those who up to this time had been against the convening of the Synod, eagerly grasping this opportunity, worked in every way to the end that the convening of the Synod, although promised, might be prevented.
At the Synod of the South Holland Churches, held at Dordrecht, they took cognizance of the fact that none of the Ministers siding with Arminius had been willing until now to reveal his objections against the adopted doctrine to his fellow Ministers, but that with various alibis they had all made mockery of the admonitions of the Churches and the decisions of the Synods. It was again decided that they should earnestly order them anew, within one month after this warning, to make known their objections, under penalty of ecclesiastical censures against those who stubbornly refused.
3. The fourfold way in which the church of Christ can be understood. On the ground of the authority of Holy Scripture, the essence of the church must be considered as distinguished under four aspects. One can refer to the church as it is determined in the counsel of God; the church as her life is hidden in Christ; the church as it is realized on earth among men; and finally the church as it shall finally rejoice before the throne in glory. Confusion of these four makes clear insight difficult.
(In the last article which appeared in the Standard Bearer of Kuyper’s “Pamphlet Concerning the Reformation of the Churches” Kuyper discussed his views on the relation between church and state. In this and successive paragraphs, Kuyper discusses the duties of the individual office bearers and the function of the office of believers.) 22. That Which Must Concern the Ministers of the Word
At the beginning of the Conference they again debated concerning the order of the Articles which would be treated. Arminius seemed to think that it was advantageous for his cause to begin with predestination. But, seeing that the article concerning justification seemed to be more necessary, Gomarus believed that they should begin with this; and this was also the pleasure of the States. Concerning this point of doctrine there was the same dispute as that which had taken place earlier before the High Council, namely; whether faith itself, in respect of the fact that it is a deed, is.