Grotius, Hugo

Grotius, Hugo (Dutch name DE GROOT), one of the most illustrious names in literature, politics, and theology. He was born at Delft April 10,1583, and in his boyhood gave signs of extraordinary ability. At eleven he was sent to the University of Leyden, where he remained three years, devoting himself especially to theology, law, and mathematics. In 1597 he maintained two theses on philosophy, and wrote in praise of Henri IV, in Latin, a poem entitled Trium-phus Gallicus, which he dedicated to M. de Buzenval, the French ambassador in Holland. In 1598 he accompanied a Dutch embassy to Paris, where he was introduced to the king, who gave him a brilliant reception. On his return home, 1599, he entered on the practice of law, but devoted himself also to literature. Each year was marked by a new book, or by a new edition of some important work from his hand. In 1607 he married Mary of Reigersberg, a lady of excellent family, and of high moral and intellectual qualities. In 1609 he published his celebrated treatise Mare Liberum, his first essay in treating the law of nations. Appointed pensioner of Rotterdam in 1613, he foresaw the difficulties in which the country would soon become involved, and only accepted office on condition that it should be made permanent. He thus obtained the right of entering the States-general, where he was thrown into close relations with Barneveldt the elder, with whom he formed a lasting friendship. In 1615 he was sent to represent Holland in a conference held in England on the subject of the Greenland fisheries. During his stay in England, Grotius had several conferences with Casaubon on the means of uniting the Roman Catholics and the Protestants, a problem to which he devoted a great deal of thought and labor throughout his life. After his return to Holland he took an active part in the religious discussions which were soon to divide the country, and in which he was always found on the side of freedom. He had at all times favored the views of Arminius, whose eulogy he published in 1609. Though not then, as he afterwards became, a skilled theologian, he was especially attracted by the doctrine of Arminius, and the predilection was afterwards strengthened by study and reflection. And, indeed, the Arminian doctrine, which, discarding the Calvinistic dogma of absolute predestination, teaches that man is free to accept or to refuse grace, could not fail to suit a mind such as that of Grotius. It was held by the majority of the Dutch states; and when Gomar (q.v.) and his party attempted to obtain the proscription of the Arminians, the states did their utmost to prevent it, and enjoined on both parties to tolerate each other. The Gomarists then incited the people to disobey the states; revolts took place in various towns, and Some Arminian ministers were driven out of their churches. Grotius, who had previously helped his friend Uytenbogaert with his advice when framing the Acta Remonstrantium, in which the Arminian principles are laid out, framed, together with Barneveldt, a new edict of toleration which was voted by the states. But fresh disturbances occurred every day, and the states, by a decree dated Aug. 4,1617, gave to the town magistrates the power of raising troops to put down insurgents. This decree was passed without the participation of the stadtholder Maurice of Nassau, who had for a long time been seeking occasion to break with Barneveldt and the Republican party. He therefore availed himself of the opportunity offered him by this decree, which, he asserted, disregarded his rights as captain general. He at once sided with the Gomarists, approved all their plans, and forbade the soldiers to obey the civil authorities. Shortly before these events. Grotius had been sent to conciliate the authorities of Amsterdam, who were opposed to the Arminians. His failure in this mission, with the increasing troubles and perils of the country, caused him an illness. During the disturbances, he wrote several works in defence of his party, in which, in order to justify the measures taken by the Dutch States, he attempted to prove that the state has the right to regulate all that relates to the discipline and even the dogmas of the Church. He also applied himself to show that the Arminian doctrine was upheld by the fathers and the councils. The Gomarists, beaten in argument, employed violence to overcome their adversaries. In 1618, Maurice, backed by the States, undertook to coerce the towns, which, on the ground of the sovereignty guaranteed to them by the constitution, had disregarded as illegal the order of the prince forbidding their raising troops. Holland was invaded by the troops of the stadtholder, who gave free vent to his anger. Assembling eight members of the States, he made them decree the arrest of Barneveldt, Grotius, and Hogenbeets, under the accusation of being "enemies of their country for having attempted to resist at Utrecht the army of the prince." The magistrates of Rotterdam and of some other cities of Holland protested against this open violation of their rights, but were deposed. The Synod of Dort, which the Gomarists, sure of having the majority of the clergy on their side, had for a long time demanded, in order to obtain a condemnation of the doctrines of their adversaries, was then assembled. SEE DORT. In consequence of the decisions of Dort, some of the Arminian ministers were exiled, others put in prison. SEE ARMINIANISM. The Gomarists, with the partisans of Maurice, commenced in Nov. 1618, the trial of the three prisoners. Twenty-six commissioners, chosen from their avowed enemies, were appointed to judge them. After having, under appearance of legality, murdered Barneveldt in spite of the remonstrances of Du Maurier, ambassador of France, and a friend of Grotius, they began the trial of the latter. He declined to recognise their competence, claiming that he could only be judged by the States of Holland. His remonstrances were of no avail; five hours' time and one sheet of paper were all the facilities afforded him for his defense. "He was condemned on the 18th of May, 1619, to perpetual imprisonment, and his property confiscated. Pursuant to this sentence, he was conveyed on the 6th of June in the same year to the fortress of Loevestein, situated at the extremity of an island formed by the Maas and the Waal. His wife was allowed to share her husband's imprisonment, but Grotius's father was refused permission to see his son. During the imprisonment of Grotius, study became his consolation and the business of his life. In several of his letters addressed from Loevestein to Vossius, he gives an account of his studies, informing him that he was occupied with law and moral philosophy. He devoted his Sundays to reading works on religious subjects, and he employed in the same way the time which remained after his ordinary labors were over. He wrote during his imprisonment his treatise on the truth of the Christian religion, in Dutch verse (which he subsequently translated into Latin prose, under the title De Veritate Religionis Christianae); translated the ' Phoenissae' of Euripides into Latin verse, wrote the institutions of the laws of Holland in Dutch, and drew up for his daughter Cornelia a kind of catechism in 185 questions and answers, written in Flemish verse. After eighteen months' confinement, Grotius was at last released by the ingenuity of his wife, who had obtained permission to go out of the prison twice a week. He constantly received books, which were brought in and taken out in a large chest together with his linen. For some time this chest was strictly examined by the guards, but finding only books and foul linen, they at last grew tired of the search, and gave it up. Grotius's wife, having observed this, persuaded her husband to get into the chest, which he did, and in this manner escaped from the fortress on the 21st of March, 1621. He made his way through Antwerp to France, where his wife, who had been detained for about a fortnight in prison, joined him a few months afterwards. Louis XIII received Grotius very favorably, and granted him a pension of 3000 livres, but it was paid with great irregularity. He was harshly treated by the Protestant ministers of Charenton, who, having assented to the doctrines of the Synod of Dort, refused to admit Grotius into their communion, and he was obliged to have divine service performed at home. At Paris (]622) he published his Apologeticum (often reprinted), which was prohibited in Holland under severe penalties. Having spent a year at Paris, he retired to a country-seat of the president De Mesmes, near Senlis, where he spent the spring and summer of 1623. It was in that retreat that he commenced his work De Jure Belli et Pacis, which was published in the next year. During his residence in France he was constantly annoyed with importunities to pass over to the Roman Catholic religion. But, though he was tired of the country, and received invitations from the duke of Holstein and the king of Denmark, he declined them. Gustavus Adolphus also made him offers, which, after his death, were repeated by Oxenstiern in the name of queen Christina. In the mean time the stadtholder Maurice died, and his successor seeming less hostile to Grotius, he was induced by the entreaties of his Dutch friends to venture to return. He arrived at Rotterdam in September, 1631, and the news of his return excited a great sensation throughout all Holland. But, in spite of all the efforts of his friends, he was again obliged to leave the country, and went (1632) to Hamburg, where he lived till 1634, when he joined the chancellor Oxenstiern at Frankfort-on-the-Main, who appointed him councillor to the queen of Sweden, and her ambassador at the court of France. The object of the embassy was to obtain the assistance of France against the emperor. Grotius arrived at Paris in March, 1635; and although he had many difficulties to encounter from Richelieu, and afterwards from Mazarin, he maintained the rights and promoted the interests of his adopted sovereign with great firmness. He continued in his post till 1644, when he was recalled at his own request. Having obtained a passport through Holland, he embarked on his return at Dieppe; and on his landing at Amsterdam (1645) was received with great distinction, and entertained at the public expense. From Amsterdam he proceeded by Hamburg and Lubeck to Stockholm, where he was received in the most flattering manner by the queen. Grotius, however, was not pleased with the learned flippancy of Christina's court, and resolved on quitting Sweden. The climate, also, did not agree with him. The queen, having in vain tried to retain him in her service, made him a present of a large sum of money, and of some costly objects; she also gave him a vessel, in which he embarked for Lubeck on the 12th of August; but a violent storm, by which his ship was tossed about during three days, obliged him to !and on the 17th in Pomerania, about 15 leagues from Dantzig, whence he proceeded towards Lubeck. He arrived at Rostock on the 26th, very ill from the fatigues of the journey, and from exposure to wind and rain in an open carriage; he died on the 28th of August, 1645, in the sixty-third year of his age. His last moments were spent in religious preparation, and he tied expressing the sentiments of a true Christian. His body was carried to Delft and deposited in the grave of his ancestors, where a monument was erected to him in 1781" (English Cyclopaedia).

Of the many claims on posterity of this distinguished man, we have only to consider those which relate to theology. Grotius applied himself to various branch-s of theology. We notice, first, his exegetical writings. His "Annotations on the O. and N.T." (An.. notat. in libros evangeliorum et varia loca S. Scriptu-rae [Amst. 1641]), Annotat. in Epist. ad Philemonem (ib. 642, 8vo; 1646, 8vo), Annot. in vet. Test. (Paris, 1664, vols. fol., with Vogel's and Doderlein's additions, Hal. 1775-1776, 3 vols. 4to), Annot. in N. T". (Par. 1644, vols., often reprinted; late ed. Groning. 1827-1829, 7 vols. 8vo) remained for a long time unknown almost to all except Arminian divines, and some Calvinists even poke of them as dangerous works; for instance, Abr. Calov in Bibl. V. et N.T. illustrat. The chief cause of he present popularity of Grotius's exegesis is its purely philological and historical character. In this respect Grotius may be considered as the forerunner of Ernesti. Valuable, however, as these writings are in this respect, they have many defects. As to form they are mere comments (as is indicated by the title Annota-ones), and do not constitute a complete exposition of biblical doctrine. Grotius fails to get at the connection of the thought in his elucidations, and often ap-roaches to a rationalistic mode of treating Scripture. was well enough in Grotius to compile classical parallels to the maxims given by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, but this should only have been the preparatory step to a full elucidation of the points wherein the morality of Christ differs from that of antiquity. Thus, also, it was quite correct in the elucidation of the O.-T. prophecies to reject the practice of an arbitrary typology of separate passages taken without regard to their original historical connection. But Grotius went towards the other extreme, and gave at least a show of ground for the remark that "Coccejus found Christ everywhere in the O.T., while Grotius found him nowhere." On Grotius's merits as an interpreter, see Segaar, Oratio de Hugone Grotio, illustri humanorum et divinorum N.T. scriptorum interprete (Ultraj. '1785, 8vo); Meier, Gesch. d. Schrifterklarung (iii, p. 434 sq.). His canon for the interpretation of the prophecies of the O.T. is contained in his exposition of the ινα in the Annotations on Matthew i, 22, which is worthy of being studied.

In the field of Apologetics Grotius achieved a great and enduring success by the publication of his treatise De veritate religionis christianae (1627; often reprinted). The best editions are those of Clericus (1709, 1717, 1724, 8vo) and of J. C. Kocher (Jena, 1727, 8vo; Halle, 1734-39, 3 vols. 8vo). It was translated into German by Hohl (Chemnitz, 1768, etc.); French, by Le Jeune (1724), Goujet (1724); English, by Patrick (1667), by Clarke (1793), by Middleton (Loud. 1849, 12mo); Arabic, by Pocock (1660), etc,; and even into Chinese and Malay. The first plan of it was drawn up by Grotius in 1622 while a prisoner at Loevestein. The original object of this prison work, which was written in verse, was to furnish seafaring men, who should come in contact with the heathen, arguments in defense of their faith. But when translated into Latin prose it found its way into the highest circles of educated men, and was, until very recently, a standard text-book on the Evidences of Christianity. In this work Grotius may be said to have erected apologetics into a science, and thus rendered immense service, even though his treatment of the subject does not meet all the wants of the present age. It is divided into six books, of which the first treats of the existence and attributes of God; the second, of the excellence of the doctrine and ethics of Christianity; the third, of the authenticity of the books of the New Testament; the last three, of objections supposed to be made on the part of pagans, Mohammedans, and Jews.

In Doctrinal Theology Grotius accepted the Arminian system as regards the doctrine of predestination. He pronounced clearly for the universality of divine grace, without, however, falling into Pelagianism, an accusation often brought against him, but which he vigorously repelled. See his Conciliatio Dissidentium de re Predestinaria et gratia opinionum (1613), and his Dis-quisitio an Pelagiana sint ea dogmata quae nunc sub eo nomine traduntur. Both treatises are given in his Opera Theologica, vol. iii. He also refuted in his Christology the accusation of inclining to Socinianism in his views of the doctrine of redemption. He defended the doctrine of the expiatory nature of the death of Christ against the Socinians in his Defensio fidei catholicae de satisfactione Christi adversus F. Soci- hum (Leyden, 1617; often reprinted). The Socinians answered in the person of Crell by the Responsio ad Librum Grotii de Satisfactione, which was refuted by Stillingfleet, etc. But the orthodox, on the other hand, attacked Grotius on account of his theory of the atonement; and it is certainly true that he differs as well from the theory of satisfaction of Anselm as from the orthodox system both of the Lutheran and Reformed churches. In place of a real satisfaction (sat-infactio), Grotius substitutes a solutio on the part of God for the sake of Christ; he saw in the death of Christ more a substitutory than a satisfactory act; it was a penal example, by which, on the one hand, the majesty of God's law was vindicated, and, on the other, his horror of the sin of the world was exemplified in a most striking manner. Baur (Versohnunga lehre) gives a clear, and, in the main, fair account of the Grotian theory of atonement, from a translation of part of which, by the Rev. L. Swain, in the Biblio-theca Sacra for April, 1852, we extract the following: "The fundamental error of the Socinian view was found by Grotius to be this: that Socinus regarded God in the work of redemption as holding the place merely Of a creditor, or master, whose simple will was a sufficient discharge from the existing obligation. But, as we have in the subject before us to deal with punishment and the remission of punishment, God cannot be looked upon as a creditor, or an injured party, since the act of inflicting punishment does not belong to an injured party as such. The right to punish is not one of the rights of an absolute master or of a creditor, these being merely personal in their character; it is the right of a ruler only. Hence God must be considered as a ruler, and the right to punish belongs to the ruler as such, since it exists, not for the punisher's sake, but for the commonwealth, to maintain its order, and to promote the public good. The act of atonement itself is defined in general as a judicial act, in accordance with which one person is punished in order that another may be freed from punishment, or as an act of dispensation, by which the binding force of an existing law is suspended in respect to certain persons or things. The first question to be asked, therefore, is, whether such a dispensation or relaxing is possible- in respect to the law of punishment. Grotius does not hesitate to answer this question in the affirmative, on the ground that all positive laws are relaxable. The threat of punishment in Genesis ii, 17, contains in itself, therefore, the implied right to dispense with the infliction of that punishment, and that, too, without supposing any essential change in God himself, since a law in relation to God and the divine will is not something having an internal force and authority of its own (nichts Inneres), but is merely an operation or effect of the divine will. The objection that none but the guilty person himself can receive the punishment which is due to his crime is answered by the distinction that although every sinner, as such, does, in accordance with the very idea of sin, deserve punishment, still it is not a matter of absolute necessity that this punishment should be actually inflicted. As, therefore, the remission of punishment is a thing which is not in its own nature impossible, it must be left to the circumstances of each particular case to decide how far such remission shall really be admitted. If the authority of law is not to be dangerously weakened, it should be admitted only in cases of the greatest exigency. Such a case clearly is that which is offered in the very instance which we are now contemplating, where, by the actual infliction of the punishment, the entire race of man becomes devoted to death; and as, on the one side, the possibility of the remission of punishment cannot be denied, so, on the other, it cannot be shown to be absolutely unjust that one person should be punished for another's sin. The essential thing in punishment is that it should be inflicted in consequence of sin, not that it should be inflicted upon the person who committed the sin. If, now, it admits of no doubt that a superior may properly inflict upon a subject, as the punishment of another's sin, whatever he might properly inflict upon him irrespectively of another's sin, then may God, without incurring the charge of injustice, permit Christ to suffer and die for the sins of men. This course, then, being in itself a permissible one, the only question is why God actually determined to adopt it. As the Scripture says that Christ suffered and died for our sins, we are to infer that God purposed not to forgive sins so numerous and so great without a striking penal example, in order to show his displeasure at sin by some act which should in strictest propriety be termed a penal act. And besides this inward reason, lying in the very nature of the Deity, and called in Scripture the wrath of God, there was the additional consideration that the less sin is punished the more lightly it will be regarded. Prudence itself, therefore, must lead the Deity to exact the punishment, especially where such punishment has been expressly threatened beforehand. Thus, in the penal example furnished by the death of Christ, there is exhibited at once the divine grace and the divine severity, the hatred of God against sin and his care for the maintenance of the law. And this is the mode of relaxing the laws which jurists themselves pronounce the best, viz. by commutation or compensation; because thereby the least injury is done to the authority of the law, and the design with which the law was made is effectually secured, as when one who is charged with the delivery of a thing is free from his liability on paying its full value; for the same thing and the same value are terms very nearly related. Such a commutation may take place not only with respect to things, but also with respect to persons, where it can be done without injury to another.

"In these few statements is contained the entire theory of Hugo Grotius. What is essential to it lies in this main proposition: God neither would nor could forgive the sins of men without the setting up of a penal example. This is done by the death of Christ. Hence the death of Christ is the necessary condition of the forgiveness of sin, and what it always actually presupposes. The theory, therefore, hangs upon the idea of a penal example and of its presupposed necessity, and the question for us now to consider is how, by means of that idea, it stands related, on the one hand, to the theory of the Church which it would defend, and, on the other, to the Socinian theory which it would confute.

"As to its relation to the satisfaction-theory held by the Church, it will be seen at once that it asserts the necessity of the death of Christ in order to the forgiveness of sin, in a sense wholly different from that which the Church intends. If the death of Christ is necessary only as a penal example, then its necessity is grounded, not in the very nature of God himself, not in the idea of absolute justice, by which sin, guilt, and punishment are inseparably bound together, but merely in that outward relation which God holds to men as a ruler. The real object of consideration is not past sin, but future. The guilt of past sin may be removed immediately, for God has the absolute right to remit punishment; and a penal example is necessary only for the purpose of maintaining the honor of the law, and guarding against sin in time to come. The connection, therefore, between sin and punishment is not an inherent, internal connection, founded in the very nature of sin; the design of punishment is merely to prevent sin; or, in other Words, it is connected with sin only in consequence of a positive law emanating from God as the supreme Ruler. Hence the final ground upon which Grotius goes back to prove the necessity of instituting a penal example is merely the penal sanction contained in Genesis ii, 17. The advocates of the satisfaction-theory, indeed, go back to the same sentence, but only to remark in it a necessary outflowing of the divine justice. Grotius, on the contrary, takes the absolute idea of divine justice entirely away; for if he affirms, in opposition to Socinus, that justice is an attribute which belongs of itself to the very nature of God, but at the same time asserts that the actual exercise of the attribute depends on the will of God, it is precisely the same as the assertion of Socinus himself, that penal justice is the effect of the divine will; and if he further says that God does what he does not without a cause, still the ultimate ground is not God's absolute nature, but his absolute will, which is in itself equally competent to punish or not to punish, "Here, then, is an important distinction between the theory of Grotius and that of the Church. The main point in the Church's theory of satisfaction is that, if Christ had not made a strict and perfect satisfaction for men. they could not have been released from sin. Socinus objected to this that satisfaction and forgiveness were contradictory ideas. This assertion Grotius, as the defender of the Church's doctrine of satisfaction, could not admit. He therefore replied that satisfaction and forgiveness were not strictly simultaneous; that, according to the conditions established by God, the latter then first follows the former when a man by faith in Christ turns to God and prays him for the forgiveness of his sins. This distinction must certainly be made if the objection of Socinus is to be successfully met, and the two ideas are to be permitted to stand side by side. But Grotius Could not stop here. If it is only a penal example that is furnished by the death of Christ, then the idea of satisfaction, strictly speaking, has no further relevancy. As, however, Grotius wished to retain this idea, he brought to his assistance a peculiar distinction which is made in law between the two ideas denoted respectively by the terms solutio and satisfactio. If, said Grotius, the very thing which is owed be paid either by the debtor himself, or, which is in this case the same thing, by another in the debtor's name, then the discharge of the debt takes place by that very act; but it is to be called a discharge, not a remission (remissio). Not so, however, when something else is paid than the specific thing which was due. In this case there must be added, on the part of the creditor or ruler, an act of remission as a personal act; and it is this kind of payment, that may be either accepted or refused by the creditor, which is properly called, in the technical language of the law, satisfaction. While, therefore, it was the original design of Grotius, in all this, merely to prove, in opposition to Socinus, that the idea of satisfaction did not exclude that of remission, what he really did was to substitute in place of the common idea of satisfaction a totally different one; for the common idea of satisfaction rests essentially on the supposition that Christ has rendered precisely the same thing which men themselves were to have rendered. If, now, such a payment (solutio) be, as Grotius asserts, no remission (remissio), but only discharge (liberatio), then it must be conceded to So-cinus, which was the thing contested by Grotius, that the ideas of satisfaction and remission mutually contradict and exclude each other, or, in other words, that the satisfaction which was made by Christ does not deserve the name of satisfaction in the sense which the common theory of the Church connected with that expression. But if Christ has not made satisfaction in his sense, if he has not truly and perfectly rendered for men what they were to have rendered for them-elves, then the idea of satisfaction can be applied only o far as he has given to God something, whatever that something may be, in place of that which was to have been rendered by men themselves in their relation to God. This, then is the precise meaning of the theory of Grotius, and the difference between it and the saris-faction-theory of the Church. The idea of satisfaction let down from its full and real import to the idea of mere rendering of something;

Christ has made satsifaction so far as he has fulfilled a condition, of what- ver kind it may be, upon which God has suspended the forgiveness of the sins of men so far as he has given to God a something with reference to that end. 'his something is that penal example without the set-ing forth of which God could not have forgiven the sins of men." Many of the writings of Grotius are important in the phere of Church History: such are, for instance, his Hist. Gothorum, Vandalorum et Longobardorum (1655); and his Annales et hist. de rebus Belgicis ab obitu Philippi egis usque ad inducias anni 1609. He also treated several questions of ecclesiastical jurisprudence in his De imperio summarum potestatum circa sacra (O]T. tool. iii, p. 201), in which he sides with Arminius in favor of the territorial system against the opinion of Gomar.

The theological writings of Grotius are collected under the title Opera omnia theologica (Lond. 1679, fol. 3 vols.). The first vol. contains a Life of Grotius, with his Annot. in V. T.; vol. ii contains the Annot. in N.T.; vol. iii includes his miscellaneous theological writings. There have been many lives of Grotius, none of them adequate except Brandt, Hist. van het leven des Heeren Huig de Groot (Amst. 1727, 2 vols. fol.). See also Lehmann, Grotii Manes ab iniquis obtrectationibus vindicati (Delft, 1727); Burigny, Vie de Grotius (Paris, 1752, 2 vols. 8vo), translated into English (Lend. 1754, 8vo); Butler, Life of Grotius (Lond. 1827, 8vo); Creu-zer, Luther und Grotius (Heidelb. 1816, 8vo); Cras, Laudatio H. Grotii (Amst. 1796, 8vo); Luden, H. Grotius nach seinen Schicksalen und Schriften dargestellt (Berlin, 1806, 8vo); Seegar, Orat. de Grotio (Utrecht, 1785, 4to); Bayle, Dictionary, s.v.; Herzog, Real-En-klopadie, v, 395 sq.; Niceron, Memoires pour servir, vol. xix; Schrockh, Kirchengeschichte, v, 246; Hoefer, Nouv. Biogr. Generale, 22:197 sq.; Piper, Kalender, 1867; Nichols, Calvinism and Arminianism, ii, 582-641; Shedd, Hist. of Doctrines, ii, 347 sq.

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