Historical Forward to the Acts of the National Synod of Dordrecht (7)

Voice of Our Fathers, The

The following is an excerpt from  “The Voices of Our Fathers: An Exposition of the Canons of Dordrecht” and is used by permission from the Reformed Free Publishing Association

Click here to start at the beginning of the series.


The following summer, when the annual synod of the South Holland churches met in Delft, Uytenbogaert was admonished to give account to synod of the reasons he had sided with Arminius and had differed with the other ministers in giving advice concerning the manner in which the national synod would be convened. The intention was that synod would consider these reasons and pass judgment on them. Uytenbogaert answered that he was accountable only to the States and not to the synod. Having been requested to state what he had against the doctrine of the Confession and the Catechism, he answered that he was not prepared to do this and it did not appear advisable to do this in that gathering.

At this synod inquiry was also made whether according to the decision of the preceding synod any objections or comments concerning the Confession and the Catechism were handed to the classes. The delegates of each classis answered that almost all of the ministers in the classes had testified that they had no objections against the adopted doctrine and that those who had some objections had not been willing to make them known, either because they said they were not yet ready or they did not deem it advisable. On this account the synod again decided to order anew that without any excuses, refusals, and postponements they immediately reveal all their objections against the adopted doctrine, each in his own classis. It also became clear that among the people, to the great damage and disturbance of the churches, various disputes and arguments concerning the doctrine were heard. Yea, the beginnings of schisms were noticed.

It also became clear that among the people, to the great damage and disturbance of the churches, various disputes and arguments concerning the doctrine were heard. Yea, the beginnings of schisms were noticed.

Further, it became known that the ministers who sided with Arminius often held secret meetings in which they laid plans concerning the advancements of their doctrinal views. And it became plain that the people everywhere were becoming more and more divided. On this account the synod—judging that the remedy for this evil should no longer be postponed and that the hope of gaining a national synod was very uncertain on account of the divergence of advice and judgments—decided upon the advice of the delegates to request of the States of Holland and West Friesland that from the two South and North Holland synods a provincial synod be authorized at the first opportunity for the quieting and removal of these difficulties (as had been done before in similar difficulties). The deputies of both synods showed thoroughly these daily increasing difficulties to the States and requested the immediate convening of a provincial synod for their removal. Although on September 14 they had been given great hope, they were unable to obtain a provincial synod, because the States were busy with very important matters of the Republic, including negotiations for a truce with the enemy, they were unable to consider these ecclesiastical matters

(To be continued…)