The Advocate, who had always adhered to the humble spirit of his ancestral device, “Nil scire tutissima fedes,” and almost alone among his fellow citizens (save those immediate apostles and pupils of his who became involved in his fate) in favour of religious toleration, began to be suspected of treason and Papacy because, had he been able to give the law, it was thought he would have permitted such horrors as the public exercise of the Roman Catholic religion.
The hissings and screamings of the vulgar against him as he moved forward on his stedfast course he heeded less than those of geese on a common. But there was coming a time when this proud and scornful statesman, conscious of the superiority conferred by great talents and unparalleled experience, would find it less easy to treat the voice of slanderers, whether idiots or powerful and intellectual enemies, with contempt.
Schism in the Church a Public Fact—Struggle for Power between the Sacerdotal and Political Orders—Dispute between Arminius and Gomarus—Rage of James I. at the Appointment of Voratius—Arminians called Remonstrants—Hague Conference—Contra-Remonstrance by Gomarites of Seven Points to the Remonstrants’ Five—Fierce Theological Disputes throughout the Country—Ryswyk Secession— Maurice wishes to remain neutral, but finds himself the Chieftain of the Contra-Remonstrant Party—The States of Holland Remonstrant by a large Majority—The States-General Contra-Remonstrant—Sir Ralph Winwood leaves the Hague—Three Armies to take the Field against Protestantism.
Schism in the Church had become a public fact, and theological hatred was in full blaze throughout the country.
The great practical question in the Church had been as to the appointment of preachers, wardens, schoolmasters, and other officers. By the ecclesiastical arrangements of 1591 great power was conceded to the civil authority in church matters, especially in regard to such appointments, which were made by a commission consisting of four members named by the churches and four by the magistrates in each district.
Barneveld, who above all things desired peace in the Church, had wished to revive this ordinance, and in 1612 it had been resolved by the States of Holland that each city or village should, if the magistracy approved, provisionally conform to it. The States of Utrecht made at the same time a similar arrangement.
It was the controversy which has been going on since the beginning of history and is likely to be prolonged to the end of time—the struggle for power between the sacerdotal and political orders; the controversy whether priests shall control the state or the state govern the priests.