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from each other than was generally imagined; and that this
ty of princes, in order to promote union and con-
als, animated by a spirit of true Christian charity, embarked in this pious cause on their own private authority, and offered their mediation and good offices to reconcile the two churches. It is true indeed that these peacemakers were, generally speaking, of the reformed church; and that those among the Lutherans, who appeared in this amiable character, were but few, in comparison with the great number of Calvinists that favoured this benevolent but arduous design. The most eminent of the Calvinistical peacemakers was John Dureus, a native of Scotland, and a man justly celebrated on account
The pacific exploits of John Dureus.
i The writers who have given accounts of the conferences of Thorn and Cassel are enumerated by Sagittarius, in his Introd. ad Hist. Ecclesiast. tom. ii. p. 1604. See also Jaegeri Historia Sæcidi xvii. Decenn. V. p. 689, and Decenn. vii. p. 160, where the Acts of the conferences of Cassel and Thorn are extant. Add to these, Jo. Alphovs. Turte. tini Nubes Testium pro moderato in rebus Theologicis judicio, p. 175. There is an ample account of the conference of Cassel in the life of Musæus given by Mollerus in his Cimbria Literata, tom. ii. 566. The reader will find in the same work, an accurate Index of the Accounts of this conference published on both sides,
of his universal benevolence, solid piety, and extensive learning; but, at the same time, more remarkable for genius and memory, than for nicety of discernment and accuracy of judgment, as might be evinced by several proofs and testimonies, were this the proper place for discussions of that nature. Be that as it will, never perhaps was there such an example of zeal and perseverance as that exhibited by Dureus, who, during the space of forty years, suffered vexations, and underyemt labours, which required the firmest resolution, and the most inexhaustible patience; wrote, exhorted, admonished, entreated, and disputed; in a word, tried every method that human wisdom could suggest, to put an end to the dissensions and animosities that reigned among the protestant churches. For it was not merely by the persuasive eloquence of his pen, or by forming plans in the silence of the closet, that this worthy divine performed the task which his benevolence and zeal engaged him to undertake; his activity and industry were equal to his zeal ; he travelled through all the countries in Europe where the protestant religion had obtained any footing; he formed connexions with the doctors of both parties; he addressed himself to kings, princes, magistrates, and ministers, and by representing, in lively and striking colours, the utility and importance of the plan he had formed, hoped to engage them more or less in this good cause, or at least to derive some succour from their influence and protection. But here his views were considerably disappointed; for though his undertaking was generally applauded, and though he met with a favourable and civil reception from the greatest part of those to whom he addressed himself, yet he found very few who were seriously disposed to alleviate his labours, by lending him their assistance, and seconding his attempts by their influence and counsels. Nay, some suspecting that the fervent andextraordinary zeal of Dureus arose from mysterious and sinister motives, and apprehending that he had secretly formed a design of drawing the Lutherans into a snare, attacked him in their writings with animosity and bitterness, and loaded him with the sharpest invectives and reproaches. So that this well-meaning man, neglected at length by those of his own communion, opposed and rejected
by the followers of Luther, involed in various perplexities and
k From the year 1631 to 1674.
distress, exhausted by unsuccessful labour, and oppressed and dejected by injurious treatment, perceived, by a painful experience, that he had undertaken a task which was beyond the power of a private person, and spent the remainder of his days in repose and obscurity at Cassel.'
It may not be improper to observe here, that Dureus, who, notwithstanding the uprightness of his intentions in general, was sometimes deficient in frankness and ingenuity, had annexed to his plan of reconciliation certain doctrines, which, were they susceptible of proof, would serve as a foundation for the union, not only of the Lutherans and Calvinists, but also of all the different sects that bear the Christian name. For, among other things, he maintained, that the Apostles' Creed was a complete body of divinity; the Ten Commandments a perfect system of morals; and the Lord's Prayer a comprehensive series of petitions for all the blessings contained in the divine promises. Now if this notion, that these sacred compositions contain all that is essential to faith, obedience, and devotion, had been universally entertained, or evidently demonstrated, it would not have been a chimerical project to aim at a reconciliation of all Christian churches upon this basis, and to render these compositions the foundation of their coalition and the bond of their union. But it would have been highly chimerical to expect that the Christian sects would universally adopt this notion, or be pleased to see the doctrines of Christianity reduced to such general principles. It is further to be observed, with respect to Dureus, that he showed a peculiar propensity toward the sentiments of the mystics and quakers, on account of their tendency to fa
i See Coleri Historia Joh. Duræi, published in 4to. at Wittemberg in 1716, to which, however, many important additions might be made from public records, and also from documents that have not as yet seen the light. Some records and documents, of the kind here referred to, have been published by Hasæus, in his Bibliotheca Bremens. Theologica Philologica, tom. i. p. 911, and tom. iv. p. 683. A still greater number are given by Gessclius, in the Addenda Irenica, that are subjoined to his Historia Ecclesiastien, tom. ii. p. 614. The transactions of Duræus at Marpurg are mentioned by Schenk, in his Vitæ Professorum Theologiæ Marpurg, p. 202. His attempts in Holstein may be learned from the letters of Lackman and Lossius, which are joined together in the same volume.
His exploits in Prussia and Poland are recorded by Jablonsky, in his Historia Consensus Sendomiriensis, p, 127, and his labours in Denmark, the Palatinate, and Switzerland, are mentioned respectively by Elswich, in his Fasciculus Epistol. Theolog. p. 147. Scelen's Deliciæ Epistol. p. 353, and in the Museum Helvet. tom. iii. iv. y. See also Jaegeri Historia Sæculi xvii. Decenn. vii. p. 171. Bobmius, Eng. lische Reformations Historie, and more especially an account of Duræus, published under my direction at Helmstadt, in the year 1744, by Benzelius, and entitled, Dissertatio de Johan. Duræo, maxime de Actis ejus Suecanis. This Dissertation contains a variety of anecdotes drawn from records not yet made public.
ve nd he ed, Y; nd for DW all
vour his conciliatory and pacific project. Like them he placed the essence of religion in the assent of the soul to. God, in calling forth the hidden word, in fanning the divine spark that resides in the recesses of the human mind, and, in consequence of this system, was intimately persuaded, that differences, merely in theological opinions, did not at all concern the essence of true piety.
vii. Those among the Lutherans that appeared the most zealous in this pacific cause, were John Matthiæ," bishop of Strengnes in Sweden, and CalixusGeorge Calixtus, professor of divinity at Helmstadt, whom Dureus had animated with a portion of his charitable and indulgent spirit. The former was a man of capacity and merit, the latter was eminently distinguished among the doctors of this century, by his learning, genius, probity, and candour ; but they both failed in the arduous undertaking in which they had engaged, and suffered considerably in their attempts to promote the cause of unity and concord. The Olive Branches" of Matthiæ, who entitled thus his pacific productions, were, by a royal edict, publicly condemned and suppressed in Sweden; and their author, in order to appease the fury of his enemies, was obliged to resign his bishopric, and pass the rest of his days in retirement. The zeal of Calixtus, in calming the tumultuous and violent spirit of the contending parties, drew
upon him the bitterest reproaches, and the warmest animosity and resentment from those who were more bent on maintaining their peculiar opinions, than in promoting that charity which is the end of the commandment; and while he was labouring to remove all sects and divisions, he appeared to many of his brethren in the light of a new sectary, who was founding the most pernicious of all sects, even that of the syncretists, who were supposed to promote peace and concord at the expense of truth. We shall, before we finish this chapter, endeavour to give a more particular and circumstantial account of the sentiments and trials of this great man, to whose charge many other things were laid, beside the crime of endeavouring
Pm Matthiæ had been chaplain to Gustavus Adolphus, and was afterward appointed, by that prince, preceptor to his daughter Christina, so famous in history, on account of the whimsical peculiarities of her character, her taste for learning, and her desertion of the Swedish throne, and the Protestant religion. n Rami Olive Septentrionalis.
See Schefferi Suecia Literata, p. 123, and Joh. Molleri ad eam Hypomnemala, p317. Arkenholtz, Memoires de la Reine Christine, tom. I. p. 320, 505, tom. ii. p. 63,
happened 10 the Lutberan church.
be thi tha lea
to unite the disciples of the same master in the amiable
period was attended with various circumstances of Tule prosperous prosperity, among which we may reckon its stand
ing firm against the assaults of Rome, whose ar
tifice and violence were in vain employed to bring on its destruction. It is well known, that a very considerable number of Lutherans resided in those provinces where the public exercise of their religion was prohibited. It has more especially been shown, by the late memorable emigration of the Salzburgers, that still greater numbers of them lay concealed in that land of despotism and bigotry, where the smallest dissent from popery, with whatever secrecy and circumspection it may be disguised, is considered as an enormous and capital crime; and that they preserved their religious sentiments and doctrines pure and uncorrupted amidst the contagion of Romish superstition, which they always beheld with aversion and horror. In those countries which are inhabited by persons of different communions, and whose sovereigns are members of the Romish church, we have numberless instances of the cruelty and injustice practised by the papists against those that dissent from them; and these cruelties are exercised under a pretext suggested by the most malevolent bigotry, which represents these dissenters as seditious subjects, and consequently as worthy of the most rigorous treatment. And yet it is certain, that, amidst all these vexations, the Lutheran church has stood its ground; nor has either the craft or fury of its enemies been able, any where, to deprive it entirely of its rights and privileges. It may further be observed, that the doctrine of Luther was carried into Asia, Africa, and America, by several
persons, who fixed their habitations in those distant regions, and was also introduced into some parts of Europe, where it had hitherto been unknown.
Dp For an account of the persecuted Lutherans in the archbishopric of Salzburg, see Burnet's Travels. See more especially a famous Latin discourse, published at Tubingen, in the year 1732, under the following title ; Commentariolus Theologicus de non tolerandis in Religione Dissentientibus, quam Preside Christ. Matth. Praffio defendet Wolf. Lud. Letsching.