Arminianism, properly, the system of doctrine taught by James Arminius, especially with regard to the Augustinian theory of unconditional predestination, as revived and extended by Calvin and others in the Reformation. It is designated by Guthrie as that "gigantic recoil from Calvinism, than which no reaction in nature could have been more certainly predicted. Of all the actors in that movement-so fertile of mighty actors-no one played a more conspicuous, important, and trying part than Arminius. To high talent and cultivation, and to consummate ability as a disputant, Arminius added the ornament of spotless Christian consistency (his enemies being judges), and of a singularly noble, manly, and benevolent nature. This, with his conspicuous position, made his personal influence to be very potent and extensive. And yet few names have ever been overshadowed by a deeper and denser gloom of prejudice than his; to utter which, as Wesley remarked, was much the same, in some ears, as to raise the cry of mad dog. This is attributable partly to the latitudinarianism of some of his followers, who, revolting at the dominant faith, and maddened by oppression, resiled to the opposite extreme; and partly to the accidental circumstance that his milder scheme found general favor in the Church of England at a time when she stood in hostile relations to the English Puritans and the Scottish Presbyterians. But these were results with which neither the man Arminius nor the Arminian principle of conditionalism had any thing whatever to do. To trace them to him were not more just than to trace German Neology to Luther and Melancthon, and Socinianism to Calvin." (Preface to Brande's Life of Arminius.)
I. Life, of Arminius and the Controversy in his time. -The following sketch, so far as the facts of the life of Arminius is concerned, is modified from the Biographical Dictionary of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.
JAMES ARMINIUS (Lat. Jacobus Arminius; Dutch, Jacob Hermanson or Van Ierman) was born Oct. 10, 1560, at Oudewater, a small town of Holland. As Oudewater means in Dutch "Old Water," Veteres Aquse, Arminius is sometimes surnamed in his works Veteraquinas. He lost his father, a cutler, in his infancy; but he found a protector in Theodorus Emilius, who had once been a Roman Catholic priest. AEmilius took Arminius with him to Utrecht, and sent him to the school of that place. In his 15th year Arminius lost his patron by death, but another protector, Rudolph Snellius, took him under his care, and removed him to Marburg (1575). Arminius had scarcely arrived at Marburg when he heard that his native town had been sacked by the Spaniards. Hurrying back to Oudewater, he found that his mother and his other relatives had been killed. He returned to Marburg on foot. He went thence to Rotterdam, and was received into the house of Peter Bertius, pastor of the Reformed Church. In the same year (1575) he was sent, with Peter Bertius the younger, to the University of Leyden, which had just been founded. After he had studied at Leyden for six years," the directors of the body of merchants" of Amsterdam undertook to bear the expenses of his education for the ministry, Arminius agreeing that after he had been ordained he would not serve in the church of any other city without the permission of the burgomasters of Amsterdam. In 1582 he was sent to Geneva, which was then the great school of theology for all the Reformed churches, and where the doctrines of Calvin were taught in their most rigorous shape by Theodore Beza. At Geneva Arminius formed a close friendship which united him through life with Uyttenbogaert of Utrecht. During his residence at Geneva he gave great offence to some of the Aristotelian teachers of the Geneva school by advocating in public and lecturing in private to his friends on the logic of Ramus as opposed to that of Aristotle. SEE RAMUS. This course created so much commotion that he left Geneva and went to Basle, where the faculty of divinity offered to confer upon him the degree of doctor gratis; but he declined it, considering himself too young, and in 1583 returned to Geneva, Where he continued his theological studies for three years more. In 1586 the fame of Zabarella, professor of philosophy at Padua, induced him to take a journey into Italy. From Padua he proceeded to Rome. After this journey Arminius came back to Geneva, and soon received an order from the burgomasters of Amsterdam to return to that town. He had taken this journey without their knowledge, and rumors had spread abroad that he had kissed the pope's slipper, held intercourse with the Jesuits, and especially with Cardinal Bellarmine that, in short, he had become a Roman Catholic. The testimony of a friend who had travelled with him cleared him from these charges. Arminius used afterward to say that he derived no little benefit from this journey, as "he saw at Rome a mystery of iniquity much more foul than he had ever imagined." He was ordained at Amsterdam on the 11th of August, 1588, and he soon became distinguished as a preacher. The mild opinions of Melancthon on predestination had spread into Holland even before those of Calvin. In 1589 Theodore Koornhert, of Amsterdam, published several works, in which he attacked the doctrine of predestination, which was taught by Beza and the Genevan school. To obviate Koornhert's objections, some ministers of Delft proposed a change in Beza's doctrine. They agreed with Beza that divine predestination was the antecedent, unconditional, and immutable decree of God concerning the salvation or damnation of each individual; but whereas Beza represented that man, not considered as fallen, or even as created, was the object of this unconditional decree, the ministers of Delft made this peremptory decree subordinate to the creation and fall of man; that is to say, they adopted sublapsarianism in place of the supralapsarianism of Calvin and Beza. They thought this hypothesis would do away with Koornhert's objection that the doctrine of absolute decrees represented God as the author of sin- as such decrees made sin necessary and inevitable no less than damnation. Their view was published under the title Responsio ad argumenta qucedam Bez, et Caklni, ex tractatu de Preadestinatione, in Cap. IX ad Romanos. The book was sent to Lydius, professor at Franeker, who requested Arminius to answer it. He consented; but in studying the subject he began to doubt which of the two views to adopt, and at length became inclined to embrace the doctrine which he had undertaken to refute. Meanwhile, on the 16th of September, 1590, he married Elizabeth Reael, daughter of Laurent Rea'el, a judge and senator of Amsterdam. In the course of his sermons at Amsterdam, Arminius commenced an exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, in which some of the new views which he had adopted found expression. In 1593 he published Lectures in Rom. IX, in which he questions the view of that chapter given by Calvin and Beza. Disputes arose, but the consistory of Amsterdam gave an audience to the contending parties, and ordered them to cease all controversy until a general synod could be summoned to determine the subject of the dispute. In 1602 a pestilence raged at Amsterdam, during which Arminius showed the greatest courage and kindness in visiting the sick. The disease carried off two of the professors of the University of Leyden, Lucas Trelcatius, the elder, and Francis Junius, professor of divinity. The curators of the university turned their eyes upon Arminius as a fit successor to Junius; but it was only after repeated applications on the part of the university that the authorities of Amsterdam consented to give him permission to leave on the 15th of April, 1603. As he had been charged with holding Pelagian views, before he was finally appointed he held a conference with Francis Gomar, who was also professor of divinity at Leyden, and who became afterward his capital enemy, at the Hague, the 6th of May, 1603, and the result was that Gomar declared the charge that he was a Pelagian to be groundless. At the same time, not only the curators of the university, but Gomar himself, were thoroughly aware that on the subject of predestination Arminius differed from the Genevan school. He underwent another examination, a private one, conducted by Gomar, for the degree of D.D., which he received 11th July, 1603. Arminius was the first on whom the University of Leyden conferred the degree of Doctor. One of the first observations of Arminius, after entering on the duties of his chair, was that the students were much more Liven to scholastic subtleties and disputations than to the thorough study of Scripture. He determined to cure this evil. With this view he reckoned nothing more important than to foreclose, as far as he could, crabbed questions and the cumbrous mass of scholastic assertions, and to inculcate on his disciples that divine wisdom which was drawn from the superlatively pure fountains of the Sacred Word, and was provided for the express purpose of guiding us to a life of virtue and happiness. From his first introduction into the academy it was his endeavor to aim at this mark, and give a corresponding direction to his studies both public and private. But truly this laudable attempt was in no small degree thwarted, partly by the jealousy which some had conceived against him, and partly also by a certain inveterate prejudice as to his heterodoxy, with which many ministers of religion had long been imbued, and under the impulse of which they stirred up his colleagues against him. The first germs, indeed, of this budding jealousy betrayed themselves in the following year (1604); for when Arminius, who had undertaken the task of interpreting the Old Testament in particular, proceeded also now and then to give a public exposition of certain portions of the New Testament, Gomar took this amiss, and began to allege that the right of expounding the New Testament belonged solely to him, as Primarius Professor of Sacred Theology, for this title had been conceded to him by the Senatus Academicus a short time prior to the arrival of Arminius. Nay, more; happening to meet Arminius, he felt unable to contain himself, and, in a burst of passion, broke out in these words: 'You have invaded my professorship.' Arminius replied that he did not mean to detract any thing Whatever from the primacy of his colleague, and from the academic titles and privileges conferred upon him; and that he had not done him the slightest injury, having obtained license from the honorable curators to select themes of prelection at any time, not only from the Old-Testament, but also from the New, provided he did not encroach on the particular subject in which Gomar might be engaged" (Brandt, Life of Arminius, ch. vii).
On the 7th of February, 1604, Arminius propounded certain theses on predestination, of which the sum was this: " Divine predestination is the decree of God in Christ by which he has decreed with himself from eternity to justify, adopt, and gift with eternal life, to the praise of his glorious grace, the faithful whom he has decreed to gift with faith. On the other hand, reprobation is the decree of the anger or severe will of God, by which he has determined from eternity, for the purpose of showing his anger and power, to condemn to eternal death, as placed out of union with Christ, the unbelieving who, by their own fault and the just judgment of God, are not to believe." On the last day of October Gomar openly attacked these positions, and from this day may be dated the tumults which ensued. In 1605 Arminius was created rector magnificus of the University, which office he quitted February 8th, 1606. Meanwhile the disputes continued. Festus Honimius, a minister of Leyden, Johannes Kuchlinus, rector of the Theological Faculty, and uncle of Arminius, were among his warmest adversaries. Deputies from the churches of all the provinces of Holland, and deputies from the Synod of Leyden, required from him a conference on the subject of his opinions. Preachers attacked him from the pulpit as a Pelagian, and worse than a Pelagian. A national synod was demanded to settle the disputes. On 22d May, 1607, an assembly was held at the Hague, at which Arminius was present, to settle the manner in which the synod was to be held. In 1608 Arminius and Uyttenbogaert applied to the States of Holland to convoke a synod, that these grave controversies might be settled. In the same year Arminius and Gomar held a conference before the Supreme Court of the Hague, which declared in its report that these two professors differed on points of little importance, and unessential to religion. Arminius gave in an account of his opinions to the States at the Hague on the 30th of October, 1608. (See the Declaratio, in his works.) Before the proposed synod could be held Arminius died. The disease which carried him off at last had long lain latent. It broke out on the 7th of February, 1609, but he recovered so far as to resume the usual duties of his professorship, though still weak. At last he sunk under his disorder, and expired 19th October, 1609. His death was most painful; and to bodily pain was added mental anguish at the misrepresentations of his religious opinions and of his personal character made by his embittered foes. The curators of the University of Leyden allowed his wife and children a pension.
Arminius was one of the most learned men of a learned age. His natural faculties were singularly acute; his mind was at once inquisitive and profound; and his industry in study equalled his capacity. As a preacher he was exceedingly popular; in sweetness of voice, ardor of manner, and finish of style, he was distinguished above all his contemporaries. His personal manners were of the most attractive' kind; he grappled his friends by hooks of steel. The funeral oration delivered by Bertius ends with the phrase, "fuisse in Batavia virum quemm qui norant non potuerunt satis existimare; qui non aestimarunt, non satis cognoverunt." His writings, though inferior in point of Latinity to those of Calvin and Grotius, bear ample testimony to his learning, and to his skill in logic. He was so thoroughly versed in the ancient fathers, and so much of an adept in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, that his opinions carried along with them a weight among the learned which his antagonists could not well resist. Neander calls him the "model of a conscientious and zealously investigating theologian" (Hist. of Dogmas, ii, 276). His opponents accused him of Pelagianism and Arianism, but no theologian. of any pretence to learning will at present sustain these accusations. The same temper of mind which led him to renounce the peculiarities of Calvinism induced him also to adopt more enlarged and liberal views of church communion than those which had prevailed before his time. While he maintained that the mercy of God is not confined to a chosen few, he conceived it to be quite inconsistent with the genius of Christianity that men of that religion should keep at a distance from each other, and constitute separate churches, merely because they differed in their opinions as to some of its doctrinal articles. He thought that Christians of all denominations should form one great community, united and upheld by the bonds of charity and brotherly love; with the exception, however, of Roman Catholics, who, on account of their idolatrous worship and persecuting spirit, must be unfit members of such a society. His great disciple, the republican Barneveldt, was perhaps the first European statesman that made religious toleration one of his maxims. In fact, the Arminians of Holland were the real fathers of religious toleration; they were the first society of Protestants who, when in possession of power, granted the same liberty of conscience to others which they claimed for themselves.
Before setting forth the theological views of Arminius, a brief historical review of the church doctrine as to predestination may not be out of place. Before the time of Augustine (fourth century), the unanimous doctrine of the church fathers, so far as scientifically developed at all, was, that the Divine decrees, as to the fate of individual men, were conditioned upon their faith and obedience, as foreseen in the Divine mind. Augustine, in his controversy with Pelagius, with a view to enhance the glory of grace, was the first to teach, unequivocally, that the salvation of the elect depends upon the bare will of God, and that his decree to save those whom he chooses to save is unconditioned. Augustine did not teach the doctrine of unconditional reprobation; that doctrine was first formally taught by Gottschalk (q.v.) in the ninth century. His views were condemned at Mentz, A.D. 848. In the Reformation period, Luther and Melancthon first inclined to Augustine's theory, but, finding that it involved the reception of Gottschalk's as well, they went back to the primitive doctrine of conditional election. Luther, indeed, never formally retracted some of his characteristically strong expressions made at early periods in his history; but there are indications enough that his views coincided with those of Melancthon, who took out of the later editions of his Leci Communes all expressions favoring unconditional predestination. The Lutheran Church to this day follows Melancthon. Calvin, however, adopted unconditional election and reprobation in the strongest form, and built his whole theological system upon it. His genius impressed the age wonderfully, and the Reformed churches generally adopted his doctrines. The churches of the Netherlands were founded partly by Lutherans and partly by Calvinists. and so both sets of opinions had currency there. But the Belgic Confession (q.v.), which was Calvinistic, was invested with a quasi national authority from the year 1570. The larger part of the clergy of the Netherlands were undoubtedly Calvinists at the time of the appearance of Arminius, though freedom of thought on the controverted points had not been suppressed before his time. His rejection of the doctrine was the result of long, calm, and patient study of the Scriptures. His task was to restore the primitive and scriptural view of the relations between God and man in the work of salvation, and of the sole responsibility of man for his own damnation; and nobly did he perform it. "The great error which he had to combat consisted in making the Divine efficiency with relation to one temporal phenomenon, viz., the readjustment of the disturbed relation of God and the sinner an exception-making the relation of the Divine efficiency to that phenomenon essentially unlike its relation to any other temporal phenomenon in the universe. The church had held that every exercise of the Divine efficiency, in relation to temporal phenomena, was subjectively conditioned by Divine wisdom, omniscience, and goodness; Calvinism, on the other hand, maintained that this particular exercise of Divine efficiency was absolutely unconditioned, and was grounded solely upon the arbitrary good pleasure of God. The refutation of this error, and the re-establishment of the opposite view, was the mission of Arminius." (Warren, in Meth. Quarterly Review, July, 1857, 350.)
The views of Arminius on the points of predestination and grace are presented in the following articles, drawn up almost entirely in words which may be found in his writings:
(1.) God, by an eternal and immutable decree, ordained in Jesus Christ, his Son, before the foundation of the world, to save in Christ, because of Christ, and through Christ, from out of the human race, which is fallen and subject to sin, those who by the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in the same his Son, and who, by the same grace, persevere unto the, end in that faith and the obedience of faith; but, on the contrary, to leave in sin and subject to wrath those who are not converted and are unbelieving, and to condemn them as aliens from Christ, according to the Gospel, Joh 3:36.
(2.) To which end Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, died for all and each one, so that he has gained for all, through the death of Christ, reconciliation and remission of sins; on this condition, however, that no one in reality enjoys that remission of sills except the faithful man, and this, too, according to the Gospel, Joh 3:16, and 1Jo 2:2.
(3.) But man has not from himself, or by the power of his free will, saving faith, inasmuch as in the state of defection and sin he cannot think or do of himself any thing good, which is, indeed, really good, such as saving faith is; but it is necessary for him to be born again and renewed by God in Christ through his Holy Spirit, in his mind, affections, or will, and all his faculties, so that he may be able to understand, think, wish, and perform something good, according to that saying of Christ in Joh 15:5.
(4.) It is this grace of God which begins, promotes, and perfects every thing good, and this to such a degree that even the regenerate man without this preceding or adventitious grace, exciting, consequent, and co- operating, can neither think, wish, or do any thing good, nor even resist any evil temptation: so that all the good works which we can think of are to be attributed to the grace of God in Christ. But as to the manner of the operation of that grace, it is not irresistible, for it is said of many that they resisted the Holy Spirit, in Ac 7:51, and many other places.
(5.) Those who are grafted into Christ by a true faith, and therefore partake of his vivifying Spirit, have abundance of means by which they may fight against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and obtain the victory, always, however, by the aid of the grace of the Holy Spirit; Jesus Christ assists them by his Spirit in all temptations, and stretches out his hand; and provided they are ready for the contest, and seek his aid, and are not wanting to their duty, he strengthens them to such a degree that they cannot be seduced or snatched from the hands of Christ by any fraud of Satan or violence, according to that saying, Joh 10:28, " No one shall pluck them out of my hand." But whether these very persons cannot, by their own negligence, desert the commencement of their being in Christ, and embrace again the present world, fall back from the holy doctrine once committed to them, make shipwreck of their conscience, and fall from grace; this must be more fully examined and weighed by the Holy Scripture before men can teach it with full tranquillity of mind and confidence. This last proposition was modified by the followers of Arminius so as to assert the possibility of falling from grace. In his scheme of theology Arminius "accepted the church's developed ideas respecting God and respecting man, and then expounded with keen dialectical rigor the only doctrine which could harmonize the two. His mission was to point out how God could be what the church taught that he was, and man what the church declared him to be, at one and the same time. The readjustment of the disturbed and abnormal relations of man to God, by justification, is the central thought of Protestant theology; the announcement and exposition of their relations in that readjustment was the work of Arminius. Magnify either of the related terms to the final suppression of the other, and error is the result. Magnify the Divine agency to the complete suppression of the human in that readjustment, and fatalism is inevitable. Magnify the human to the complete suppression of the Divine, and extreme Pelagianism is the result. To Arminius is the church indebted for her first vivid apprehension and scientific statement of the Christian doctrine of the relation of man to God." The services of Arminius to theology are summed up as follows by Watson (Miscellaneous Works, 7:476): "They preserved many of the Lutheran churches from the tide of supralapsarianism, and its constant concomitant, Antinomianism. They moderated even Calvinism in many places, and gave better countenance and courage to the sublapsarian scheme; which, though logically, perhaps, not much to be preferred to that of Calvin, is at least not so revolting, and does not impose the same necessity upon men of cultivating that hardihood which glories in extremes and laughs at moderation. They gave rise, incidentally, to a still milder modification of the doctrine of the decrees, known in England by the name of Baxterianism, in which homage is, at least in words, paid to the justice, truth, and benevolence of God. They have also left on record, in the beautiful, learned, eloquent, and, above all these, the scriptural system of theology furnished by the writings of Arminius, how truly man may be proved totally and hereditarily corrupt, without converting him into a machine or a devil; how fully secured, in the scheme of the redemption of man by Jesus Christ, is the divine glory, without making the Almighty partial, wilful, and unjust; how much the Spirit's operation in man is enhanced and glorified by the doctrine of the freedom of the human will, in connection with that of its assistance by Divine grace; with how much lustre the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ shines, when offered to the assisted choice of all mankind, instead of being confined to the forced acceptance of a few; how the doctrine of election, when it is made conditional on faith foreseen, harmonizes with the wisdom, holiness, and goodness of God, among a race of beings to all of whom faith was made possible; and how reprobation harmonizes with justice, when it has a reason, not in arbitrary will, the sovereignty of a pasha, but in the principles of a I righteous government." The earliest authority for the life of Arminius is Petrus Bertius, De Vita et Obitu J. Armmnii Oratio. The fullest account is given by Caspar Brandt, H/istoria VI tce J. Arminii (Amst. 1724, 8vo), a posthumous work, edited by Gerhard Brandt, son of Caspar. It was republished, with a preface and notes, by Mosheim (Brunswick, 1725, 8vo); and a translation, by Guthrie (Lond. 1854, 18mo). See also Bangs, Life of Arminius (N. Y. 1843). The chief sources of information as to the early period of the controversy between the Arminians and Calvinists are as follows: Arminian writers, Uyttenbogaert, Kerckelijcke Historie... oornamentlijck in deze geunieerde provincien (Rotterdam, 1647, fol.); Gerhard Brandt, Historie der Reformatie, etc., which is the most copious account extant (Amst. 1663, 8vo; 1671, 4to; transl. into English by Chamberlayne, Lond. 1720, 4 vols. fol.); Limborch, Historia Vitce Sim. Episcopii (Amst. 1701, 8vo), and Relatio Historica de Origine et Progressu Controversiarum in Foederato Belgio de Praedestinatione, etc., which last work is subjoined to the later editions of his Theologia Christiana (transl. Methodist Quarterly, July, 1844, p. 425). For other writers, see Cattenburgh, Bibliotheca Scriptor. Remonstrant. (Amst. 1728, 4to); and citations under art. SEE REMONSTRANTS. On the Calvinistic side the chief works are, Jac. Triglandius, Den recht-ghematichden Christen (Amst. 1615, 4to); Kerckeljcke geschiedenessen van de vereen. Nederlanden (Lugd. Bat. 1650, fol., written to oppose Uyttenbogaert's history); Jacobus Leydekker, Eere van de Nationale Synode van Dordregt (Amst. 1705-1707, 4to); Acta Synodi Nationalis, etc. (Dort, 1620, 4to). SEE DORT. The writers on the Synod of Dort are enumerated by Fabricius, Bibliotheca Graeca, lib. 6:c. 4, vol. 11:p. 723. Mosheim (Eccl. Hist.) had well studied the whole controversy, and his account is impartial. Prof. Stuart, of Andover, published a favorable and able treatise on "The Creed of Arminius, with a brief Sketch of his Life and Times," in the Biblical Repository (Andover, 1831, vol. i). See also Lit. and Theol. Review, 6:337. But the views of Arminius are nowhere better set forth, in small compass, than by the Rev. W. F. Warren (Meth. Quar. Rev. July, 1857), and by Dr. Whedon (Bibliotheca Sacra, April, 1864).-Arminii. Opera Theologica (Lugd. Bat. 1629, 4to); Works of James Arminius, translated by Nicholls and Bagnall (best ed. 3 vols. 8vo, N.Y. 1843).
II. From the death of Arminius to the present time.
1. The dispute ran high after the death of Arminius, and with increased bitterness. The clergy and laity of Holland were arrayed into two hostile armies Gomarists and Arminians; the former being the most numerous, but the latter including the leading scholars and statesmen. In 1610 the Arminians presented a petition to the States of Holland and West Friesland, which was called a "Remonstrance" (Remonstrantia, libellus supplex adhibitus Hollandice et West Frisice ordinibus). They were named REMONSTRANTS SEE REMONSTRANTS (q.v.) in consequence; and, as the Calvinists presented a "Counter-Remonstrance," they were called Contra- Remonstrants. The "Remonstrance" sets forth the Arminian theory over against the Calvinistic in five articles, substantially as given above, but in briefer form. Attempts were made by the authorities to reconcile the two contending parties by a conference between them at the Hague in 1611, a discussion at Delft in 1613, and also by an edict in 1614, enjoining peace. At last the States-General issued an order for the assembling of a national synod. It met at Dort, in Holland, and opened on November 13th, 1618, and its sittings continued through that and the following year. This famous synod condemned entirely the " five articles" in which the Arminians expressed their opinions. SEE DORT. These articles had been drawn up in 1610, presented in the conference at the Hague in 1611, and finally laid before the Synod of Dort. To fix the sense of the passages in the Scriptures which related to the dispute, a new Dutch translation of the whole Bible, from the original Hebrew and Greek, was undertaken at the command of the synod. This new version was published in 1637. The Arminians, being dissatisfied with the version of the New Testament, made another version of the New Testament from the Greek, which was published at Amsterdam in 16e0. The Arminians were subjected to severe penalties. Their great. leader, Barneveldt, died on the scaffold on a political pretence. They were all deprived of their sacred and civil offices, and their ministers were forbidden to preach. For an account of these persecutions, see Calder, Life of Episcopius, xv. Many retired to Antwerp and France; a considerable body emigrated to Holstein, upon the invitation of Friederich, duke of Holstein, and built the town of Frederickstadt in the duchy of Schleswig. After the death of Maurice in 1625, the Arminians were allowed to return, and a decree of 1630 authorized them to build churches and schools. The exiles from France and the Spanish Netherlands came back and established congregations in various places, particularly at Rotterdam and Amsterdam. At Amsterdam they founded a school, in which Simon Episcopius was the first professor of theology. SEE EPISCOPIUS; and for a fuller account of the fortunes of the Remonstrant party, SEE REMONSTRANTS.
2. In 1621, Episcopius, at the request of the leading Remonstrants, drew up a formula of faith under the title Confessio seu declaratio sentsntie pastorum qui in Fad. Belg. Remonstrantes vocantur (Episc. Opp. ii, 69), in 25 chapters, which was widely circulated. A censura of this confession was published by Polyander and four other Leyden professors, to which Episcopius replied in his Apologia pro Confessione, 1630. The "Confessio" disappointed the Gomarists, for it was perfectly sound on the Trinity, thus refuting the charge of Socinianism brought against the Arminians. It was received with great favor by the Lutherans. A number of eminent names adorn the literary history of Arminianism in Holland and France; among them the most prominent, besides Episcopius, are Curcellaeus, Vossius, Grotius, Casaubon, Limborch, Le Clerc, and Wetstein (all to be found under the proper heads in this Cyclopaedia). It is to be regretted that in the hands of some of these eminent men Arminianism was corrupted by semi- rationalism.
3. The effect of the controversy appeared in France in the modified Calvinism of Amyraldus (q.v.). Nor was the dispute confined to the reformed churches. During the whole of the sixteenth century the Church of Rome was agitated with the controversy upon grace and free-will. The Benedictines and Dominicans had already broken the ground; but the battle raged in its greatest fury between the Jesuits and the Jansenists, the latter being ably represented by the religious of the monastery of Port Royal, near Paris. Here again it happened, as in Holland, that the controversy extended itself from religion to politics. The Jansenists of France became the reformers of the age, the men of free thought and bold discussion, while the Jesuit party were the advocates of the court and the old abuses, both in church and state. At the same time, it is a curious fact that in Holland the Arminians were the friends of liberty and free discussion, in France the Calvinists; the two parties had changed places. The Jesuits, who were Arminians, were now the persecutors, and the Jansenists, or Calvinists, the patient and afflicted sufferers. SEE JANSENISTS.
4. In Germany, the Lutherans, of course, sympathized fully in the Arminian movement. In the Reformed Church the decisions of Dort were admitted as authoritative for a time; but "this outward show of victory was really a defeat; for the true elements of Arminianism were not killed at Dort, but grew up, silently but surely, within the bosom of the orthodox Reformed Church.... In the period of Wolfianism the Reformed dogmatics were finally purged from the doctrine of absolute predestination" (Ebrard, Christliche Dogmatik, i, § 38). It is a shrewd remark of Nicholls, that had there been a great religious body, apart from Calvin's followers, with which all Protestants who did not adopt Luther's doctrine of the sacraments might have united themselves, the doctrines of Calvin would not have been so widely diffused on the Continent between 1540 and 1600 (Calvinism and Arminianism, I. iv).
5. In England the so-called Arminian doctrines were held, in substance, long before the time of Arminius. The Articles of Religion are regarded by some writers as Calvinistic, by others as Arminian. The truth seems to be that they were meant to be ambiguous, or, to use a kinder word. comprehensive, so as to leave liberty of opinion in the church on a question so obscure and difficult. On this point, see, on the Arminian side, Burnet, Exposition of Thirty-nine Articles; Laurence, Bampton Lecture, 1804; Fletcher, Works, ii, 216, 218; Browne, On Thirty-nine Articles (Lond. 1864, 4th ed.): and on the Calvinistic side, Cunningham, Reformers and Theology of the Reformation (Edinburgh, 1862, Essay iv; also in Brit. and For. Evang. Rev. No. 35, and reprinted in Amer. Theol. Rev. Oct. 1861, art. v). It is certain that Cranmer had a hand in drawing up the Necessary Erudition of a Christian Man (1543), just before the compilation of the Articles, and that book (the Eracdition) is by no means Calvinistic. Latimer, Hooper, Bilson, Andrews, Overal, and Hooker "might with propriety have been called Arminians, had Arminianism, as a system of doctrine, prevailed when they wrote" (Nicholls, Calvinism and Arminianism, I, xcvi). Bare (q.v.), professor of divinity at Cambridge, taught Arminianism, and his case gave rise to the Lambeth Articles (q.v.). But Arminianism unfortunately became a political question. Two Arminian bishops, Laud and Juxon, became members of his majesty's privy council at the precise juncture when the liberty of the subject and the prerogative of the crown were brought into direct competition. John Playfere, Margaret professor at Cambridge (t 1608), published a strong defence of the Arminian doctrine, under the title of An Appeal to the Gospel for the true Doctrine of Predestination (republished in Cambridge Tracts, 1717). Dr. Samuel Hoard, rector of Moreton (t 1657), originally a Calvinist, became a strong Arminian, and published God's Love to Mankind manifested by disproving his absolute Decree for their Damnation (Lond. 1633, 4to), which called forth answers by Davenant, Twisse, and Amyraut. In the civil war the Arminians gradually ranged themselves with King Charles, the Calvinists with Parliament. But John Goodwin (q.v.), who was ejected in 1645, was one of the ablest defenders of Arminianism in his time. See Jackson, Life of Goodwin (1822, 8vo). When the war was over the Church of England was destroyed, and Arminianism seemed to have perished with it. The restoration of Charles II took place (1660); Arminianism returned with prelacy, and held for more than half a century almost undisputed sway in the Church of England. It must be observed, however, that as the Arminianism of Laud differed from that of the Dutch leader in many points, so did that of the divines of Charles II and their successors in many more. Laud combined it with views of sacramental efficacy which Arminius would have denounced as superstitious; the later school of divines, though far from Socinianism, threw the doctrines of grace into the shade, and dwelt more on the example of Christ than his atonement. Among the eminent Episcopal Arminian divines of England are Cudworth, Pierce, Jeremy Taylor, Tillotson, Chillingworth, Stillingfleet, Womack, Burnet, Pearson, Sanderson, Heylyn, Whitby, Patrick, Tomline, Coplestone, Whately, etc. Arminianism at last, in the Church of England, became a negative term, implying a negation of Calvinism rather than any exact system of theology whatever. Much that passed for Arminianism was, in fact, Pelagianism. In the Church of England, most of those theologians who have deviated from the golden mean maintained by Arminianism (between Calvinism on the one hand and Pelagianism on the other) have fallen into error as to the Trinity, while those who have adhered to the evangelical doctrine of Arminius have retained all the verities of the orthodox faith. The pure doctrine of Arminianism arose again in England in the great Wesleyan Reformation of the seventeenth century. Its best expositions may be found in the writings of John Wesley, John Fletcher, and Richard Watson, whose Theological Institutes (best edit. N. Y. 1850, 2 vols. 8vo) is the most complete Arminian body of divinity extant in English. Its system is the same as that of the orthodox Protestant churches in general, except so far as the question of predestination and the points connected with it are concerned. "As some heterodox writers have called themselves Arminians, and as the true theory of Arminianism has been often grossly maligned, it may be proper here to allude to certain points with regard to which it has been especially misrepresented. If a man hold that good works are necessary to justification; if he maintain that faith includes good works in its own nature; if he reject the doctrines of original sin; if he deny that divine grace is requisite for the whole work of sanctification, if he speak of human virtue as meritorious in the sight of God, it is very generally charged by Calvinists that he is an Arminian. But the truth is, that a man of such sentiments is properly a disciple of the Pelagian - and Socinian schools. To such sentiments pure Arminianism is as diametrically opposite as Calvinism itself. The genuine Arminians assert the corruption of human nature in its full extent. They declare that we are justified by faith only. They assert that our justification originates solely in the grace of God. They teach that the procuring and meritorious cause of our justification is the righteousness of Christ. Propter quam, says Arminius, Deus credentibus peccatum condonat, eosque pro justis riputat non aliter atque si legem perfect implevissent. [For the sake of which God pardons believers, and accounts them as righteous precisely as if they had perfectly obeyed the law.] They admit in this way that justification implies not merely forgiveness of sin, but acceptance to everlasting happiness. Junctam habet adoptionern in flios, et collationen juris in hereditatem vitce eterne. [It has connected with it adoption to sonship, and the grant of a right to the inheritance of eternal life.] They teach, in fine, that the work of sanctification, from its j very commencement to its perfection in glory, is carried on by the operation of the Holy Spirit, which is the gift of God by Jesus Christ" (Edinb. Encyclopedia, s.v.).
"The whole sum and substance of religious doctrine and theory is embraced in these three terms: God's nature, man's nature, and the relation subsisting between the two. Theology is nothing more than the j systematic definition, adjustment, and exposition of these three terms. Christian theology, or genuine orthodoxy, is simply a system of theological views upon these three points, which is self-coherent, and harmonious with the teachings of Scripture. For the development of such a system, exhibiting the precise truth relative to these cardinal points, without redundancy or defect, it is necessary that each of these three points be made a special object of scrutiny and discussion. An error in respect to either will not only destroy at once the system's self-coherence, but infallibly conduct to the gravest heresies. For example, an error respecting the first (Theology) may give us Pantheism; an error on the second point (Anthropology) may lead to Atheism; while an erroneous theory respecting the third gives us the two extremes of an iron fate or a groundless chance. True orthodoxy states and maintains a consistent doctrine respecting each, authenticated by the assertions of God's revelations. Casting now a philosophic eye upon the doctrine of the church as developed in history, we cannot I fail to be struck by the remarkable fact that the three great controversies which trisect the historic developments of Christian doctrine as a scientific system have followed without deviation the natural order of these three terms. That development has hinged successively upon each in order. Athanasius, Augustine, and Arminius represent in themselves the whole sweep of the dogmatic unfoldment of Christianity; these factors being given, we can construct the whole history of Christian doctrine. The first is the representative of that speculative movement which developed into scientific form and defensible shape the ecclesiastical doctrine respecting God's nature; the second, of the subsequent movement by which the true doctrine of man's being was evolved; the third, of the still later and scarcely yet completed one by which the relations of the two are instigated and defined.
"The ancient church believed vaguely in the true divinity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit; but Athanasius was raised up to explain with clearness, to maintain, and to bring forth into suitable prominence the great doctrine of a substantial triunity of the Divine essence, under all temporal manifestations of separate bypostases, on which suppositions only the ancient beliefs of the church and the unqualified declarations of Scripture could be true. His mission was the enunciation, exposition, and defence of a great truth respecting the Divine nature, and round that truth was grouped all the Christian thinking of that age. There was no great doctrinal system of the time, heretical or not, which was not logically related to this centre thought of the church. It implied in itself all anterior and all subsequent speculations upon the Divine nature, Origenistic, Arian, Sabellian, Monophysitic, Nestorian, or orthodox.
"Augustine was commissioned for another work. The church, in the centuries antecedent to his appearance, had vaguely believed in the depravity and helplessness of human nature; but Augustine was raised, up to explain with clearness, and to maintain, and to bring forth in suitable prominence, the great doctrine of the native corruption and moral ruin of man; his utter hopelessness apart from the remedial agencies of Divine grace, on which supposition only the ancient beliefs of the church and the unqualified declarations of Scripture could be true. His mission was the enunciation, exposition, and defense of a greet truth, respecting human nature, and round that truth as grouped all Christian thinking of that age. It is this which gives that age its character. The whole scholastic theology is but the radicated and ramified outgrowth of that vital germ of truth. To him is the church indebted for her first vivid apprehension and scientific statement of the Christian doctrine of man. Augustine is the historical representative of that organic evolution. The third of these divinely appointed representative men laid hold of both these truths, which for sixteen centuries had been developing; accepted the church's developed ideas respecting God; and respecting man, and then expounded with keen dialectical rigor the only doctrine which could harmonize the two. His mission was to point out how God could be what the church taught that he was, and man what the church declared him to be, at one and the same time. The readjustment of the disturbed and abnormal relations of man to God by justification is the central thought of Protestant theology; the announcement and exposition of their relations in that readjustment was the work of Arminius. And not until Arminius is placed in this relation to the doctrinal development of Christianity in the church is there attained a true perception of the grand and growing rhythm of its history." The Predestinarians (as remarked above) erred by maintaining that the particular exercise of Divine efficiency, by which the abnormal relation of God to a sinner is readjusted, was unconditioned by anything whatsoever, and was grounded solely upon the arbitrary good pleasure of the Almighty. Maintaining this unconditioned elective volition, they naturally demanded an "effectual calling," "irresistible grace," and "persevering success," for all these were-necessary concomitants. The refutation of this error, and the establishment of the opposite view, was the mission of Arminius. His labors gave scientific form to the ecclesiastical opinion upon the third great point, and completed the cycle of Christian theology. As in the development of apostolic doctrine, the Pauline and Petrine clements were unified in John, so, in its uninspired development, after Athanasius had set forth his truth, and Augustine his, Arminius steps forth the later apostle of dogmatic completion (Dr. Warren, in Methodist Quarterly Review, 1857, p. 346 sq.). SEE WESLEYANISM.
The Arminian doctrine on predestination is now very widely diffused in the Protestant world. It is, in the main, coincident with that of the Lutherans in Germany; is held by the Wesleyan Methodist churches throughout the world; by a large part of the Church of England, and by many of the clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. It is substantially the doctrine (on the question of predestination) of the Greek and Roman churches; and it is also held by several of the minor sects. For the sources of information, see the writers above referred to, and also Episcopius, Institut. Theol. (1650); Limborch, Theologia Christiana (1686); Calder, Lije of Episcopius (N. Y. 12mo); Wesley, Works (N.Y. 7 vols. 8vo); Watson, Theol. Institut. (2 vols. 8vo); Nicholls, Calvinism and Arminianism compared (Lond. 1824, 2 vols. 8vo); Fletcher, Complete Works (N. Y. 1850, 4 vols. 8vo); Neander, Hist. rf Christ. Dogmas, ii, 678 sq.; Art. Arminius, by W. F. Warren, Meth. Q. Rev. July, 1857; Schweitzer, Die Protest. Ctetraldogmen, ii, 31 sq.; Gass, Geschichte d. Prot. Dogmatic, i, 379 sq.; Ebrard, Christliche Dogadtik, § 24-43 (transl. in Mercersburg Review, ix and x); Francke, Hist. Dgm. Armin. (Kiel, 1814, 8vo); Cunningham, Historical Theology, ch. xxv (Calvinistic; Edinb. 1864, 2 vols. 8vo); Schneckenburger, Vergl. Darstellung d. luther. und reform. Lehrbegriffs (Stuttg. 1855, 8vo); Schenkel, Wesen des Protestantismus (Schaffhauien, 2d ed. 1862, 8vo); Whedon, Freedom of the Will (N. Y. 1864, l2mmo); Warren, Siystematische Tieologie, Einleitung (Bremen, 1865, 8vo); Shedd, History of Dectrines, l:k. 4:ch. viii; Lk. v, ch. vi; Smith's Hagenbach, History of Doctrines, § 225, 235; Gieseler, Ch/. History, 4:§ 43 (N. Y. ed.). A list of the earlier Arminian writings is given in Van Cattenburgh, Bibloth. Script. Remonstr. (Amstel. 1728, 8vo). SEE CALVINISM; SEE BAXTER; SEE DORT; SEE METHODISM; SEE GRACE; SEE PREDESTINATION; SEE REMONSTRANCE.