Fruytier Jacobus

Fruytier Jacobus, a Dutch divine, was born June 5, 1659, at Middelburg. He was descended from Jan Fruytier, a courtier of William, prince of Orange, and a zealous advocate of the Reformation. Jacobus was educated at Utrecht. His first settlement was at Aardensburg, where he remained seven years, In 1688 he accepted a call to Dirksland, in 1691 removed to Vlissingen (Flushing), and in 1695 to Middelburg. In 1700 he was called to Rotterdam. Here he was installed April 25, 1700, and labored zealously in the ministry till his death, May 23, 1731. He was one of the favorite preachers in that city. Fruytier was a zealous Voetian, and became deeply involved in the controversy which at that time raged in the Reformed Church between the Coccejans and Voetians. His first efforts were those of a pacificator. The violent attack on the Coccejans made by Pierre de Joucourt, minister of the Walloon church at the Hague, was ably answered by Braunius, Van Til, and D'Outrein. Fruytier was so much pleased with the replies of the two latter that he wrote an article expressive of his gratitude, and designed to effect a reconciliation. The effort was premature and fruitless. D'Outrein replied, showing that things were not yet ripe for such a result, and, moreover, that Fruytier himself was not preparad to make sufficient concessions to the opposing party. Fruytier replied, but to this rejoinder D'Outrein made no public response. This is thought to have had an exasperating effect on Fruytier, who is said to have been a man of choleric temperament. In 1713 he issued a work that involved him in serious difficulties. Its title is, Sion's worstelingen, of historische Zamenspraken over de verscheidene en zeer bittere wederwaardigheden van Christus Kerke (Zion's Struggles, or historical Conferences respecting the various and very grievous Adversities of Christ's Church). The work was specially directed against the Cartesian Coccejans and such as were regarded as rationalistic, but it assaulted also the Biblical Coccejans and Cocceius himself. Three speakers are introduced — Truth, Piety, and Nathanael. The Coccejans are represented as open or secret enemies to the truth. The charges brought against them by Truth are briefly the following: such a misinterpretation of the Scriptures as was intolerable to those who cordially loved the truth; such an undermining, as the part of others, of the principal mysteries of Christianity that there seemed to be a design to reinstate heathenism, or enthrone the blasphemies of Socinus; the vital truths of the Bible were misunderstood by some, not believed by others, so openly ridiculed by still another class in their writings, while they were excessively pleased with imaginary discoveries of truth; and, finally, all these things were palliated and defended by others. The following are the charges made by Piety: an attempt to introduce a heathenish morality as a substitute for spiritual religion; as a consequence of this, that worldly and natural men began to ridicule religion and to entertain atheistic views; and, finally, the power of religion was no longer visible ina the lives, of many who professed to love the truth, but who, under the pretext of Christian liberty, had because conformed to the world. Nathanael is introduced as an unsuccessful apologist for the Coccejans. The gravity of the charges and the acrimonious spirit pervading the work gave just offense, and the Classis of Schieland refused their approbation. Notwithstanding this, it was sent forth to the world with the lamp of Church authority affixed to its title- page. This rendered the Classis indignant. Cited before them, he put the blame upon the puielisher. His apology was deemed insufficient, but he continued inflexible. The case was carried before the Synod of South Holland in 1717, and that body, after laboring with him and finding him intractable, voted to deprive him of his seat in the same until he should repent and submit. After persisting far seven years in his refusal, he finally, in the year 1724, confessed his fault and testified his sorrow. He was immediately restored. It is conceded that Fruytier may have been actuated by zeal for what he regarded as truth in the publication of this work; but his piety, which is admitted to have been deep and fervent, was not free from the admixture of fanaticism, nor was his devoted attachment to the truth, as be viewed it, free from bigotry. A new edition of Sion's Worstelingen has just (1869) been issued at Utrecht. Hiss controversy with Lampe on the eternal generation of the Son, and the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, may be reserved for the article on Lampe. His ministry eas long and laborious, aed he seams to have been influenced by a sincere desire to be useful, andito promote vital godliness. He is still represented and honored by a respectable posterity. See Ypeij and Dermout, Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Hervormde Kerk, 3 Deel, biz. 181, 182, 187191, 202-204; en Aanteekeningen (Breda, 1824); Glasius, Godgeleerd Nederland, 1 Deel, blz. 475 en verv. (J.P.W.)

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