Nigrinus, Bartholomeus

Nigrinus, Bartholomeus a Roman Catholic divine, who flourished in Poland near the middle of the 17th century, was born of Socinian parents, and having been successively a Lutheran, and a minister of the Helvetian confession at Dantzic, finally obtained much influence at the Polish court under king Vladislav IV, after having accepted the Romish faith. The king was anxious to bring about in his realm the religious union of all his subjects, and thus to close the fearful strife which then threatened to end in a war for Conscience' sake. Nigrinus, having obtained access to the monarch; represented to him that it was an easy thing to unite all Christian confessions. The king supposed that an individual who had several times changed his religious persuasion must be well acquainted with all differences and causes of controversy, and consequently put faith in the feasibility of the project. Nigrinus further maintained, before the king and several bishops, that it would be possible to attain his object by means of a friendly discussion between some chosen doctors of the different confessions; and the king, giving heed to Nigrinus's persuasions, resolved to gather in a friendly meeting (colloquium charitativum) a number of divines of all the Christian confessions. Primate and pope consented, and it was finally called to convene at Thorn, Oct. 10, 1644. The date was later extended to Aug. 28, 1645; but when it convened it was soon made evident that a union of Protestants and Romanists was out of the question, the latter refusing to give up communion in one kind, the former to accept papal supremacy; and after several protests had been made on both sides, the inutility of continuing the discussions became evident, and the colloquium was closed November 21 with much less solemnity than it had been opened. Instead of producing, as had been hoped, a reconciliation of the adverse confessions, or even an approximation to it, the colloquium rather increased their mutual acrimony;

and each party published pamphlets charging its opponents with that ill success which was fairly attributable to none, because produced by the very nature of things. After this we hear no more of Nigrinus. See the articles POLAND SEE POLAND and SEE THORN. (J.H.W.)

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