Publisher Description

This is a historical book. It is difficult to see why the course thus unanimously proposed by the nobles of Holland, under guidance of Barneveld, and subsequently by a majority of the States of that province, would not have been as expedient as it was legal. But we are less concerned with that point now than with the illustrations afforded by these long buried documents of the patriotism and sagacity of a man than whom no human creature was ever more foully slandered. It will be constantly borne in mind that he regarded this religious controversy purely from a political, legal, and constitutional—­and not from a theological-point of view. He believed that grave danger to the Fatherland was lurking under this attempt, by the general government, to usurp the power of dictating the religious creed of all the provinces. Especially he deplored the evil influence exerted by the King of England since his abandonment of the principles announced in his famous letter to the States in the year 1613. All that the Advocate struggled for was moderation and mutual toleration within the Reformed Church. He felt that a wider scheme of forbearance was impracticable. If a dream of general religious equality had ever floated before him or before any one in that age, he would have felt it to be a dream which would be a reality nowhere until centuries should have passed away. Yet that moderation, patience, tolerance, and respect for written law paved the road to that wider and loftier region can scarcely be doubted.

January 1
Public Domain

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