Hague Conference

4. That to this end He has first of all presented and given to them his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, whom He delivered up to the death of the cross in order to save his elect, so that, although the suffering of Christ as that of the only-begotten and unique Son of God is sufficient unto the atonement of the sins of all men, nevertheless the same, according to the counsel and decree of God, has its efficacy unto reconciliation and forgiveness of sins only in the elect and true believer.

“The Counter Remonstrance (1611)” in, Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation, ed., James T. Dennison, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Reformation Heritage Books, 2014), 4: 46-47.[underlining mine and footnotes mine]

Dennison’s introduction:

The gathering of the followers of James Arminius (1560-1609) at Gouda in 1610 brought to the press a document agreed upon by forty-three ministers who declared themselves “Remonstrants.” Johannes Uytenbogaert (1557-1644), court preacher at The Hague, was the leader and champion of the Remonstrant cause. By December 1610, the States General of Holland urged the Remonstrants and the proto-Counter-Remonstrants (Gomarists) to meet so as to resolve the emerging doctrinal tensions. On March 10, 1611, at The Hague, the famous Collatio Hagensis (Conference of the Hague) convened with six members of the Remonstrant party and six members of the opposition. Festus Hommius (1576- 1642), pastor at Leiden, delivered his answer to the 1610 affirmation in “counter remonstrance:’ Over the next ten days (until March 20), each party labored to defend its position in two documents: one affirming their own interpretation of Scripture regarding the five points in dispute (Remonstrance versus Counter Remonstrance) and the other refuting the objections of the opposite party to their foundational declaration. In 440 pages (the record of the conference as printed), the parties concluded that there was an irreconcilable division between them: Arminianism and Calvinism were immiscible. It would take a National Synod to resolve this matter, or at least determine the authority of the Reformed faith for the Netherlands. But Arminianism would garner the respite of toleration; by mid-century, Reformed theology no longer united Holland de facto. Arminius had achieved his goal of a “third variety of Reformation” and attenuated the Calvinism of the Lowlands. In the wings were Benedict Spinoza and the precursors of the Enlightenment. It must be acknowledged that Arminianism paved the way for this epistemological revolution.1

The English translation of the Counter Remonstrance is taken from Crisis in the Reformed Churches: Essays in Commemoration of the Great Synod of Dort, 1618-1619, edited by Peter Y. De Jong (Grandville, Mich.: Reformed Fellowship, 2008), 248-50.2 It appears below with the permission of the publisher.


1[I think Dennison is seriously over-reaching on this last point. At most, one could only say that given that religious toleration was effected in Holland much earlier as a result of the disputes between the Arminian and Calvinist parties, this allowed other thinkers space to develop their ideas to an even more radical level. But this is not to say that Arminianism, itself, somehow effected the later more radical developments of the Enlightenment and its epistemology. Any such suggestion seriously misreads the wider sweep of causes and effects ebbing through the 17th century and beyond.]

2[It appears that Dennison’s page numbers are incorrect. The actual page range for the counter-remonstrant article in this is work is, 209-213.]

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