Gomar, Francis

Gomar, Francis, an eminent Calvinistic divine and polemic, was born January 30, 1563, at Bruges, and educated at Strasburg under John Sturmius, and at Neustadt, where the professors of Heidelberg found a refuge when Louis, the elector palatine, had banished them. In 1582 he came to England, and attended at Oxford the divinity lectures of Dr. John Rainolds, and at Cambridge those of Dr. William Whittaker, and at this latter university he was admitted to the degree of. B.D. in 1584. The elector Louis dying in 1583, prince Casimir, his brother, restored the professors of Heidelberg, to which place Gomar returned from Cambridge, and spent two years there. In 1587 he became pastor of the Flemish church at Frankfort, and exercised the functions of that office until 1593. In 1594 he. was appointed professor of divinity at Leyden. Here he remained teaching quietly until 1603, when he became the zealous opponent of his new colleague Arminius. Arminius, as is well known, opposed, and Gomar defended, the peculiarities of Calvin, and in this controversy Gomar displayed a most violent, virulent, and intolerant spirit, and endeavored by various publications to excite the indignation of the States of Holland against his rival. The combatants disputed before the States in 1608. SEE ARMINIUS. On one of these occasions Barneveldt, in a short address to them, declared that he thanked God their contentions did not affect the fundamental articles of the Christian religion; Gomar replied that he "would not appear before the throne of God with Arminius's errors." On the death of Arminius, Gomar, 1609, retired to Middleburg, whence he was invited by the University of Saumur to be professor of divinity, and four years after he exchanged this office for the professorship of divinity and Hebrew at Groningen. He attended the Synod of Dort in 1618, where he took an active part in the condemnation of the Arminians. SEE DORT. He visited Leyden in 1633 to revise the translation of the Old Testament, and died at Groningen Jan. 16, 1641. His works were published at Amsterdam in 1645 (fol.); also in 1664, Opera omnia theologica (Amsterd. fol.). See Bayle; Hook, Eccles. Biog. 5:332; Mosheim, Ch. Hist. cent. 17, part 2:chapter 2, § 11; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 21:136; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 5:231.

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