The Sessions of the Synod of Dordt, Week Twenty-Six: Sessions 153-154

Session 153: Monday, May 6 AM
After having opening devotions in the Kloveniersdoelen (the building in which the Synod had been meeting), the delegates went in a stately procession to the Grote Kerk (Great Church), to which many people and dignitaries had also come.

President Bogerman opened with prayer, after which the synodical clerks read the Canons. The church was so large, and the effort required of the speakers to be heard was so great, that their voices tired, and they had to take turns reading. A collection of thanksgiving was taken for the cause of benevolence. Then the scribes read the judgment against the Remonstrants as well as the written testimony of the States General deputies indicating that they approved the work of the Synod.

After Bogerman informed the audience that the Synod had approved the doctrine contained in the Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism, he closed with a long prayer.

Session 154: Thursday, May 9 AM
After the opening prayer, the States General deputy Martin Gregorius prayed, thanked the delegates for their work, and made other announcements on behalf of the national government. President Bogerman then expressed thanks to God and to the foreign delegates who had come to assist the Dutch churches. After he dismissed the foreign delegates from service, all the delegates gathered for a feast.

This was Ascension Day, 1619. It was fitting that on the day on which the churches commemorated Christ’s ascension into heaven, the entire Synod gathered to give thanks to God for guiding them in responding to the Remonstrant heresies.

Douglas Kuiper, Professor of Church History and New Testament
Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary