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´╗┐Title: Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of Holland : with a view of the primary causes and movements of the Thirty Years' War, 1609-14
Author: Motley, John Lothrop
Language: English
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By John Lothrop Motley, D.C.L., LL.D.

The Life of John of Barneveld, v5, 1609-14


     Establishment of the Condominium in the Duchies--Dissensions between
     the Neuburgers and Brandenburgers--Occupation of Julich by the
     Brandenburgers assisted by the States-General--Indignation in Spain
     and at the Court of the Archdukes--Subsidy despatched to Brussels
     Spinola descends upon Aix-la-Chapelle and takes possession of Orsoy
     and other places--Surrender of Wesel--Conference at Xanten--Treaty
     permanently dividing the Territory between Brandenburg and Neuburg--
     Prohibition from Spain--Delays and Disagreements.

Thus the 'Condominium' had been peaceably established.

Three or four years passed away in the course of which the evils of a
joint and undivided sovereignty of two rival houses over the same
territory could not fail to manifest themselves.  Brandenburg, Calvinist
in religion, and for other reasons more intimately connected with and
more favoured by the States' government than his rival, gained ground in
the duchies.  The Palatine of Neuburg, originally of Lutheran faith like
his father, soon manifested Catholic tendencies, which excited suspicion
in the Netherlands.  These suspicions grew into certainties at the moment
when he espoused the sister of Maximilian of Bavaria and of the Elector
of Cologne.  That this close connection with the very heads of the
Catholic League could bode no good to the cause of which the States-
General were the great promoters was self-evident.  Very soon afterwards
the Palatine, a man of mature age and of considerable talents, openly
announced his conversion to the ancient church.  Obviously the sympathies
of the States could not thenceforth fail to be on the side of
Brandenburg.  The Elector's brother died and was succeeded in the
governorship of the Condeminium by the Elector's brother, a youth of
eighteen.  He took up his abode in Cleve, leaving Dusseldorf to be the
sole residence of his co-stadholder.

Rivalry growing warmer, on account of this difference of religion,
between the respective partisans of Neuburg and Brandenburg, an attempt
was made in Dusseldorf by a sudden entirely unsuspected rising of the
Brandenburgers to drive their antagonist colleagues and their portion of
the garrison out of the city.  It failed, but excited great anger.  A
more successful effort was soon afterwards made in Julich; the Neuburgers
were driven out, and the Brandenburgers remained in sole possession of
the town and citadel, far the most important stronghold in the whole
territory.  This was partly avenged by the Neuburgers, who gained
absolute control of Dusseldorf.  Here were however no important
fortifications, the place being merely an agreeable palatial residence
and a thriving mart.  The States-General, not concealing their
predilection for Brandenburg, but under pretext of guarding the peace
which they had done so much to establish, placed a garrison of 1400
infantry and a troop or two of horse in the citadel of Julich.

Dire was the anger not unjustly excited in Spain when the news of this
violation of neutrality reached that government.  Julich, placed midway
between Liege and Cologne, and commanding those fertile plains which make
up the opulent duchy, seemed virtually converted into a province of the
detested heretical republic.  The German gate of the Spanish Netherlands
was literally in the hands of its most formidable foe.

The Spaniards about the court of the Archduke did not dissemble their
rage.  The seizure of Julich was a stain upon his reputation, they cried.
Was it not enough, they asked, for the United Provinces to have made a
truce to the manifest detriment and discredit of Spain, and to have
treated her during all the negotiation with such insolence?  Were they
now to be permitted to invade neutral territory, to violate public faith,
to act under no responsibility save to their own will?  What was left for
them to do except to set up a tribunal in Holland for giving laws to the
whole of Northern Europe?  Arrogating to themselves absolute power over
the controverted states of Cleve, Julich, and the dependencies, they now
pretended to dispose of them at their pleasure in order at the end
insolently to take possession of them for themselves.

These were the egregious fruits of the truce, they said tauntingly to the
discomfited Archduke.  It had caused a loss of reputation, the very soul
of empires, to the crown of Spain.  And now, to conclude her abasement,
the troops in Flanders had been shaven down with such parsimony as to
make the monarch seem a shopkeeper, not a king.  One would suppose the
obedient Netherlands to be in the heart of Spain rather than outlying
provinces surrounded by their deadliest enemies.  The heretics had gained
possession of the government at Aix-la-Chapelle; they had converted the
insignificant town of Mulheim into a thriving and fortified town in
defiance of Cologne and to its manifest detriment, and in various other
ways they had insulted the Catholics throughout those regions.  And who
could wonder at such insolence, seeing that the army in Flanders,
formerly the terror of heretics, had become since the truce so weak as to
be the laughing-stock of the United Provinces?  If it was expensive to
maintain these armies in the obedient Netherlands, let there be economy
elsewhere, they urged.

From India came gold and jewels.  From other kingdoms came ostentation
and a long series of vain titles for the crown of Spain.  Flanders was
its place of arms, its nursery of soldiers, its bulwark in Europe, and so
it should be preserved.

There was ground for these complaints.  The army at the disposition of
the Archduke had been reduced to 8000 infantry and a handful of cavalry.
The peace establishment of the Republic amounted to 20,000 foot, 3000
horse, besides the French and English regiments.

So soon as the news of the occupation of Julich was officially
communicated to the Spanish cabinet, a subsidy of 400,000 crowns was at
once despatched to Brussels.  Levies of Walloons and Germans were made
without delay by order of Archduke Albert and under guidance of Spinola,
so that by midsummer the army was swollen to 18,000 foot and 3000 horse.
With these the great Genoese captain took the field in the middle of
August.  On the 22nd of that month the army was encamped on some plains
mid-way between Maestricht and Aachen.  There was profound mystery both
at Brussels and at the Hague as to the objective point of these military
movements.  Anticipating an attack upon Julich, the States had meantime
strengthened the garrison of that important place with 3000 infantry and
a regiment of horse.  It seemed scarcely probable therefore that Spinola
would venture a foolhardy blow at a citadel so well fortified and
defended.  Moreover, there was not only no declaration of war, but strict
orders had been given by each of the apparent belligerents to their
military commanders to abstain from all offensive movements against the
adversary.  And now began one of the strangest series of warlike
evolution's that were ever recorded.  Maurice at the head of an army of
14,000 foot and 3000 horse manoeuvred in the neighbourhood of his great
antagonist and professional rival without exchanging a blow.  It was a
phantom campaign, the prophetic rehearsal of dreadful marches and tragic
histories yet to be, and which were to be enacted on that very stage and
on still wider ones during a whole generation of mankind.  That cynical
commerce in human lives which was to become one of the chief branches of
human industry in the century had already begun.

Spinola, after hovering for a few days in the neighbourhood, descended
upon the Imperial city of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle).  This had been one of
the earliest towns in Germany to embrace the Reformed religion, and up to
the close of the sixteenth century the control of the magistracy had been
in the hands of the votaries of that creed.  Subsequently the Catholics
had contrived to acquire and keep the municipal ascendency, secretly
supported by Archduke Albert, and much oppressing the Protestants with
imprisonments, fines, and banishment, until a new revolution which had
occurred in the year 1610, and which aroused the wrath of Spinola.
Certainly, according to the ideas of that day, it did not seem unnatural
in a city where a very large majority of the population were Protestants
that Protestants should have a majority in the town council.  It seemed,
however, to those who surrounded the Archduke an outrage which could no
longer be tolerated, especially as a garrison of 600 Germans, supposed to
have formed part of the States' army, had recently been introduced into
the town.  Aachen, lying mostly on an extended plain, had but very slight
fortifications, and it was commanded by a neighbouring range of hills.
It had no garrison but the 600 Germans.  Spinola placed a battery or
two on the hills, and within three days the town surrendered.  The
inhabitants expected a scene of carnage and pillage, but not a life was
lost.  No injury whatever was inflicted on person or property, according
to the strict injunctions of the Archduke.  The 600 Germans were driven
out, and 1200 other Germans then serving under Catholic banners were put
in their places to protect the Catholic minority, to whose keeping the
municipal government was now confided.

Spinola, then entering the territory of Cleve, took session of Orsoy, an
important place on the Rhine, besides Duren, Duisburg, Kaster,
Greevenbroek and Berchem.  Leaving garrisons in these places, he razed
the fortifications of Mulheim, much to the joy of the Archbishop and his
faithful subjects of Cologne, then crossed the Rhine at Rheinberg, and
swooped down upon Wesel.  This flourishing and prosperous city had
formerly belonged to the Duchy of Cleve.  Placed at the junction of the
Rhine and Lippe and commanding both rivers, it had become both powerful
and Protestant, and had set itself up as a free Imperial city,
recognising its dukes no longer as sovereigns, but only as protectors.
So fervent was it in the practice of the Reformed religion that it was
called the Rhenish Geneva, the cradle of German Calvinism.  So important
was its preservation considered to the cause of Protestantism that the
States-General had urged its authorities to accept from them a garrison.
They refused.  Had they complied, the city would have been saved, because
it was the rule in this extraordinary campaign that the belligerents made
war not upon each other, nor in each others territory, but against
neutrals and upon neutral soil.  The Catholic forces under Spinola or his
lieutenants, meeting occasionally and accidentally with the Protestants
under Maurice or his generals, exchanged no cannon shots or buffets, but
only acts of courtesy; falling away each before the other, and each
ceding to the other with extreme politeness the possession of towns which
one had preceded the other in besieging.

The citizens of Wesel were amazed at being attacked, considering
themselves as Imperial burghers.  They regretted too late that they had
refused a garrison from Maurice, which would have prevented Spinola from
assailing them.  They had now nothing for it but to surrender, which they
did within three days.  The principal condition of the capitulation was
that when Julich should be given up by the States Wesel should be
restored to its former position.  Spinola then took and garrisoned the
city of Xanten, but went no further.  Having weakened his army
sufficiently by the garrisons taken from it for the cities captured by
him, he declined to make any demonstration upon the neighbouring and
important towns of Emmerich and Rees.  The Catholic commander falling
back, the Protestant moved forward.  Maurice seized both Emmerich and
Rees, and placed garrisons within them, besides occupying Goch,
Kranenburg, Gennip, and various places in the County of Mark.  This
closed the amicable campaign.

Spinola established himself and his forces near Wesel.  The Prince
encamped near Rees.  The two armies were within two hours' march of each
other.  The Duke of Neuburg--for the Palatine had now succeeded on his
father's death to the ancestral dukedom and to his share of the
Condominium of the debateable provinces--now joined Spinola with an army
of 4000 foot and 400 horse.  The young Prince of Brandenburg came to
Maurice with 800 cavalry and an infantry regiment of the Elector-

Negotiations destined to be as spectral and fleeting as the campaign had
been illusory now began.  The whole Protestant world was aflame with
indignation at the loss of Wesel.  The States' government had already
proposed to deposit Julich in the hands of a neutral power if the
Archduke would abstain from military movements.  But Albert, proud of
his achievements in Aachen, refused to pause in his career.  Let them
make the deposit first, he said.

Both belligerents, being now satiated with such military glory as could
flow from the capture of defenceless cities belonging to neutrals, agreed
to hold conferences at Xanten.  To this town, in the Duchy of Cleve, and
midway between the rival camps, came Sir Henry Wotton and Sir Dudley
Carleton, ambassadors of Great Britain; de Refuge and de Russy, the
special and the resident ambassador of France at the Hague; Chancellor
Peter Pecquius and Counsellor Visser, to represent the Archdukes; seven
deputies from the United Provinces, three from the Elector of Cologne,
three from Brandenburg, three from Neuburg, and two from the Elector-
Palatine, as representative of the Protestant League.

In the earlier conferences the envoys of the Archduke and of the Elector
of Cologne were left out, but they were informed daily of each step in
the negotiation.  The most important point at starting was thought to be
to get rid of the 'Condominium.'  There could be no harmony nor peace in
joint possession.  The whole territory should be cut provisionally in
halves, and each possessory prince rule exclusively within the portion
assigned to him.  There might also be an exchange of domain between the
two every six months.  As for Wesel and Julich, they could remain
respectively in the hands then holding them, or the fortifications of
Julich might be dismantled and Wesel restored to the status quo.  The
latter alternative would have best suited the States, who were growing
daily more irritated at seeing Wesel, that Protestant stronghold, with an
exclusively Calvinistic population, in the hands of Catholics.

The Spanish ambassador at Brussels remonstrated, however, at the thought
of restoring his precious conquest, obtained without loss of time, money,
or blood, into the hands of heretics, at least before consultation with
the government at Madrid and without full consent of the King.

"How important to your Majesty's affairs in Flanders," wrote Guadaleste
to Philip, "is the acquisition of Wesel may be seen by the manifest grief
of your enemies.  They see with immense displeasure your royal ensigns
planted on the most important place on the Rhine, and one which would
become the chief military station for all the armies of Flanders to
assemble in at any moment.

"As no acquisition could therefore be greater, so your Majesty should
never be deprived of it without thorough consideration of the case.  The
Archduke fears, and so do his ministers, that if we refuse to restore
Wesel, the United Provinces would break the truce.  For my part I
believe, and there are many who agree with me, that they would on the
contrary be more inclined to stand by the truce, hoping to obtain by
negotiation that which it must be obvious to them they cannot hope to
capture by force.  But let Wesel be at once restored.  Let that be done
which is so much desired by the United Provinces and other great enemies
and rivals of your Majesty, and what security will there be that the same
Provinces will not again attempt the same invasion?  Is not the example
of Julich fresh?  And how much more important is Wesel!  Julich was after
all not situate on their frontiers, while Wesel lies at their principal
gates.  Your Majesty now sees the good and upright intentions of those
Provinces and their friends.  They have made a settlement between
Brandenburg and Neuburg, not in order to breed concord but confusion
between those two, not tranquillity for the country, but greater
turbulence than ever before.  Nor have they done this with any other
thought than that the United Provinces might find new opportunities to
derive the same profit from fresh tumults as they have already done so
shamelessly from those which are past.  After all I don't say that Wesel
should never be restored, if circumstances require it, and if your
Majesty, approving the Treaty of Xanten, should sanction the measure.
But such a result should be reached only after full consultation with
your Majesty, to whose glorious military exploits these splendid results
are chiefly owing."

The treaty finally decided upon rejected the principle of alternate
possession, and established a permanent division of the territory in
dispute between Brandenburg and Neuburg.

The two portions were to be made as equal as possible, and lots were to
be thrown or drawn by the two princes for the first choice.  To the one
side were assigned the Duchy of Cleve, the County of Mark, and the
Seigniories of Ravensberg and Ravenstein, with some other baronies and
feuds in Brabant and Flanders; to the other the Duchies of Julich and
Berg with their dependencies.  Each prince was to reside exclusively
within the territory assigned to him by lot.  The troops introduced by
either party were to be withdrawn, fortifications made since the
preceding month of May to be razed, and all persons who had been
expelled, or who had emigrated, to be restored to their offices,
property, or benefices.  It was also stipulated that no place within the
whole debateable territory should be put in the hands of a third power.

These articles were signed by the ambassadors of France and England, by
the deputies of the Elector-Palatine and of the United Provinces, all
binding their superiors to the execution of the treaty.  The arrangement
was supposed to refer to the previous conventions between those two
crowns, with the Republic, and the Protestant princes and powers.  Count
Zollern, whom we have seen bearing himself so arrogantly as envoy from
the Emperor Rudolph to Henry IV., was now despatched by Matthias on as
fruitless a mission to the congress at Xanten, and did his best to
prevent the signature of the treaty, except with full concurrence of the
Imperial government.  He likewise renewed the frivolous proposition that
the Emperor should hold all the provinces in sequestration until the
question of rightful sovereignty should be decided.  The "proud and
haggard" ambassador was not more successful in this than in the
diplomatic task previously entrusted to him, and he then went to
Brussels, there to renew his remonstrances, menaces, and intrigues.

For the treaty thus elaborately constructed, and in appearance a
triumphant settlement of questions so complicated and so burning as to
threaten to set Christendom at any moment in a blaze, was destined to an
impotent and most unsatisfactory conclusion.

The signatures were more easily obtained than the ratifications.
Execution was surrounded with insurmountable difficulties which in
negotiation had been lightly skipped over at the stroke of a pen.
At the very first step, that of military evacuation, there was a stumble.
Maurice and Spinola were expected to withdraw their forces, and to
undertake to bring in no troops in the future, and to make no invasion of
the disputed territory.

But Spinola construed this undertaking as absolute; the Prince as only
binding in consequence of, with reference to, and for the duration of;
the Treaty of Xanten.  The ambassadors and other commissioners, disgusted
with the long controversy which ensued, were making up their minds to
depart when a courier arrived from Spain, bringing not a ratification but
strict prohibition of the treaty.  The articles were not to be executed,
no change whatever was to be made, and, above all, Wesel was not to be
restored without fresh negotiations with Philip, followed by his explicit

Thus the whole great negotiation began to dissolve into a shadowy,
unsatisfactory pageant.  The solid barriers which were to imprison the
vast threatening elements of religious animosity and dynastic hatreds,
and to secure a peaceful future for Christendom, melted into films of
gossamer, and the great war of demons, no longer to be quelled by the
commonplaces of diplomatic exorcism, revealed its close approach.  The
prospects of Europe grew blacker than ever.

The ambassadors, thoroughly disheartened and disgusted, all took their
departure from Xanten, and the treaty remained rather a by-word than a
solution or even a suggestion.

"The accord could not be prevented," wrote Archduke Albert to Philip,
"because it depended alone on the will of the signers.  Nor can the
promise to restore Wesel be violated, should Julich be restored.  Who can
doubt that such contravention would arouse great jealousies in France,
England, the United Provinces, and all the members of the heretic League
of Germany?  Who can dispute that those interested ought to procure the
execution of the treaty?  Suspicions will not remain suspicions, but they
light up the flames of public evil and disturbance.  Either your Majesty
wishes to maintain the truce, in which case Wesel must be restored, or to
break the truce, a result which is certain if Wesel be retained.  But the
reasons which induced your Majesty to lay down your arms remain the same
as ever.  Our affairs are not looking better, nor is the requisition of
Wesel of so great importance as to justify our involving Flanders in a
new and more atrocious war than that which has so lately been suspended.
The restitution is due to the tribunal of public faith.  It is a great
advantage when actions done for the sole end of justice are united to
that of utility.  Consider the great successes we have had.  How well the
affairs of Aachen and Mulbeim have been arranged; those of the Duke of
Neuburg how completely re-established.  The Catholic cause, always
identical with that of the House of Austria, remains in great superiority
to the cause of the heretics.  We should use these advantages well, and
to do so we should not immaturely pursue greater ones.  Fortune changes,
flies when we most depend on her, and delights in making her chief sport
of the highest quality of mortals."

Thus wrote the Archduke sensibly, honourably from his point of view, and
with an intelligent regard to the interests of Spain and the Catholic
cause.  After months of delay came conditional consent from Madrid to the
conventions, but with express condition that there should be absolute
undertaking on the part of the United Provinces never to send or maintain
troops in the duchies.  Tedious and futile correspondence followed
between Brussels, the Hague, London, Paris.  But the difficulties grew
every moment.  It was a Penelope's web of negotiation, said one of the
envoys.  Amid pertinacious and wire-drawn subtleties, every trace of
practical business vanished.  Neuburg departed to look after his
patrimonial estates; leaving his interests in the duchies to be watched
over by the Archduke.  Even Count Zollern, after six months of wrangling
in Brussels, took his departure.  Prince Maurice distributed his army in
various places within the debateable land, and Spinola did the same,
leaving a garrison of 3000 foot and 300 horse in the important city of
Wesel.  The town and citadel of Julich were as firmly held by Maurice for
the Protestant cause.  Thus the duchies were jointly occupied by the
forces of Catholicism and Protestantism, while nominally possessed and
administered by the princes of Brandenburg and Neuburg.  And so they
were destined to remain until that Thirty Years' War, now so near its
outbreak, should sweep over the earth, and bring its fiery solution at
last to all these great debates.


     Proud Position of the Republic--France obeys her--Hatred of Carleton
     --Position and Character of Aerssens--Claim for the "Third"--Recall
     of Aerssens--Rivalry between Maurice and Barneveld, who always
     sustains the separate Sovereignties of the Provinces--Conflict
     between Church and State added to other Elements of Discord in the
     Commonwealth--Religion a necessary Element in the Life of all

Thus the Republic had placed itself in as proud a position as it was
possible for commonwealth or kingdom to occupy.  It had dictated the
policy and directed the combined military movements of Protestantism.
It had gathered into a solid mass the various elements out of which
the great Germanic mutiny against Rome, Spain, and Austria had been
compounded.  A breathing space of uncertain duration had come to
interrupt and postpone the general and inevitable conflict.
Meantime the Republic was encamped upon the enemy's soil.

France, which had hitherto commanded, now obeyed.  England, vacillating
and discontented, now threatening and now cajoling, saw for the time at
least its influence over the councils of the Netherlands neutralized by
the genius of the great statesman who still governed the Provinces,
supreme in all but name.  The hatred of the British government towards
the Republic, while in reality more malignant than at any previous
period, could now only find vent in tremendous, theological pamphlets,
composed by the King in the form of diplomatic instructions, and hurled
almost weekly at the heads of the States-General, by his ambassador,
Dudley Carleton.

Few men hated Barneveld more bitterly than did Carleton.  I wish to
describe as rapidly, but as faithfully, as I can the outline at least of
the events by which one of the saddest and most superfluous catastrophes
in modern history was brought about.  The web was a complex one, wrought
apparently of many materials; but the more completely it is unravelled
the more clearly we shall detect the presence of the few simple but
elemental fibres which make up the tissue of most human destinies,
whether illustrious or obscure, and out of which the most moving
pictures of human history are composed.

The religious element, which seems at first view to be the all pervading
and controlling one, is in reality rather the atmosphere which surrounds
and colours than the essence which constitutes the tragedy to be

Personal, sometimes even paltry, jealousy; love of power, of money, of
place; rivalry between civil and military ambition for predominance in a
free state; struggles between Church and State to control and oppress
each other; conflict between the cautious and healthy, but provincial and
centrifugal, spirit on the one side, and the ardent centralizing,
imperial, but dangerous, instinct on the other, for ascendancy in a
federation; mortal combat between aristocracy disguised in the plebeian
form of trading and political corporations and democracy sheltering
itself under a famous sword and an ancient and illustrious name;--all
these principles and passions will be found hotly at work in the
melancholy five years with which we are now to be occupied, as they have
entered, and will always enter, into every political combination in the
great tragi-comedy which we call human history.  As a study, a lesson,
and a warning, perhaps the fate of Barneveld is as deserving of serious
attention as most political tragedies of the last few centuries.

Francis Aerssens, as we have seen, continued to be the Dutch ambassador
after the murder of Henry IV.  Many of the preceding pages of this volume
have been occupied with his opinions, his pictures, his conversations,
and his political intrigues during a memorable epoch in the history of
the Netherlands and of France.  He was beyond all doubt one of the ablest
diplomatists in Europe.  Versed in many languages, a classical student,
familiar with history and international law, a man of the world and
familiar with its usages, accustomed to associate with dignity and tact
on friendliest terms with sovereigns, eminent statesmen, and men of
letters; endowed with a facile tongue, a fluent pen, and an eye and ear
of singular acuteness and delicacy; distinguished for unflagging industry
and singular aptitude for secret and intricate affairs;--he had by the
exercise of these various qualities during a period of nearly twenty
years at the court of Henry the Great been able to render inestimable
services to the Republic which he represented.  Of respectable but not
distinguished lineage, not a Hollander, but a Belgian by birth, son of
Cornelis Aerssens, Grefter of the States-General, long employed in that
important post, he had been brought forward from a youth by Barneveld and
early placed by him in the diplomatic career, of which through his favour
and his own eminent talents he had now achieved the highest honours.

He had enjoyed the intimacy and even the confidence of Henry IV., so far
as any man could be said to possess that monarch's confidence, and his
friendly relations and familiar access to the King gave him political
advantages superior to those of any of his colleagues at the same court.

Acting entirely and faithfully according to the instructions of the
Advocate of Holland, he always gratefully and copiously acknowledged the
privilege of being guided and sustained in the difficult paths he had to
traverse by so powerful and active an intellect.  I have seldom alluded
in terms to the instructions and despatches of the chief, but every
position, negotiation, and opinion of the envoy--and the reader has seen
many of them--is pervaded by their spirit.  Certainly the correspondence
of Aerssens is full to overflowing of gratitude, respect, fervent
attachment to the person and exalted appreciation of the intellect and
high character of the Advocate.

There can be no question of Aerssen's consummate abilities.  Whether his
heart were as sound as his head, whether his protestations of devotion
had the ring of true gold or not, time would show.  Hitherto Barneveld
had not doubted him, nor had he found cause to murmur at Barneveld.

But the France of Henry IV., where the Dutch envoy was so all-powerful,
had ceased to exist.  A duller eye than that of Aerssens could have seen
at a glance that the potent kingdom and firm ally of the Republic had
been converted, for a long time to come at least, into a Spanish
province.  The double Spanish marriages (that of the young Louis XIII.
with the Infanta Anna, and of his sister with the Infante, one day to be
Philip IV.), were now certain, for it was to make them certain that the
knife of Ravaillac had been employed.  The condition precedent to those
marriages had long been known.  It was the renunciation of the alliance
between France and Holland.  It was the condemnation to death, so far as
France had the power to condemn her to death, of the young Republic.  Had
not Don Pedro de Toledo pompously announced this condition a year and a
half before?  Had not Henry spurned the bribe with scorn?  And now had
not Francis Aerssens been the first to communicate to his masters the
fruit which had already ripened upon Henry's grave?  As we have seen,
he had revealed these intrigues long before they were known to the world,
and the French court knew that he had revealed them.  His position had
become untenable.  His friendship for Henry could not be of use to him
with the delicate-featured, double-chinned, smooth and sluggish
Florentine, who had passively authorized and actively profited by her
husband's murder.

It was time for the Envoy to be gone.  The Queen-Regent and Concini
thought so.  And so did Villeroy and Sillery and the rest of the old
servants of the King, now become pensionaries of Spain.  But Aerssens did
not think so.  He liked his position, changed as it was.  He was deep in
the plottings of Bouillon and Conde and the other malcontents against the
Queen-Regent.  These schemes, being entirely personal, the rank growth of
the corruption and apparent disintegration of France, were perpetually
changing, and could be reduced to no principle.  It was a mere struggle
of the great lords of France to wrest places, money, governments,
military commands from the Queen-Regent, and frantic attempts on her part
to save as much as possible of the general wreck for her lord and master

It was ridiculous to ascribe any intense desire on the part of the Duc de
Bouillon to aid the Protestant cause against Spain at that moment, acting
as he was in combination with Conde, whom we have just seen employed by
Spain as the chief instrument to effect the destruction of France and the
bastardy of the Queen's children.  Nor did the sincere and devout
Protestants who had clung to the cause through good and bad report, men
like Duplessis-Mornay, for example, and those who usually acted with him,
believe in any of these schemes for partitioning France on pretence of
saving Protestantism.  But Bouillon, greatest of all French fishermen in
troubled waters, was brother-in-law of Prince Maurice of Nassau, and
Aerssens instinctively felt that the time had come when he should anchor
himself to firm holding ground at home.

The Ambassador had also a personal grievance.  Many of his most secret
despatches to the States-General in which he expressed himself very
freely, forcibly, and accurately on the general situation in France,
especially in regard to the Spanish marriages and the Treaty of Hampton
Court, had been transcribed at the Hague and copies of them sent to the
French government.  No baser act of treachery to an envoy could be
imagined.  It was not surprising that Aerssens complained bitterly of the
deed.  He secretly suspected Barneveld, but with injustice, of having
played him this evil turn, and the incident first planted the seeds of
the deadly hatred which was to bear such fatal fruit.

"A notable treason has been played upon me," he wrote to Jacques de
Maldere, "which has outraged my heart.  All the despatches which I have
been sending for several months to M. de Barneveld have been communicated
by copy in whole or in extracts to this court.  Villeroy quoted from them
at our interview to-day, and I was left as it were without power of
reply.  The despatches were long, solid, omitting no particularity for
giving means to form the best judgment of the designs and intrigues of
this court.  No greater damage could be done to me and my usefulness.
All those from whom I have hitherto derived information, princes and
great personages, will shut themselves up from me .  .  .  .  What can be
more ticklish than to pass judgment on the tricks of those who are
governing this state?  This single blow has knocked me down completely.
For I was moving about among all of them, making my profit of all,
without any reserve.  M. de Barneveld knew by this means the condition of
this kingdom as well as I do.  Certainly in a well-ordered republic it
would cost the life of a man who had thus trifled with the reputation of
an ambassador.  I believe M. de Barneveld will be sorry, but this will
never restore to me the confidence which I have lost.  If one was jealous
of my position at this court, certainly I deserved rather pity from those
who should contemplate it closely.  If one wished to procure my downfall
in order to raise oneself above me, there was no need of these tricks.
I have been offering to resign my embassy this long time, which will now
produce nothing but thorns for me.  How can I negotiate after my private
despatches have been read?  L'Hoste, the clerk of Villeroy, was not so
great a criminal as the man who revealed my despatches; and L'Hoste was
torn by four horses after his death.  Four months long I have been
complaining of this to M. de Barneveld.  .  .  .  Patience!  I am
groaning without being able to hope for justice.  I console myself, for
my term of office will soon arrive.  Would that my embassy could have
finished under the agreeable and friendly circumstances with which it
began.  The man who may succeed me will not find that this vile trick
will help him much .  .  .  .  Pray find out whence and from whom this
intrigue has come."

Certainly an envoy's position could hardly be more utterly compromised.
Most unquestionably Aerssens had reason to be indignant, believing as he
did that his conscientious efforts in the service of his government had
been made use of by his chief to undermine his credit and blast his
character.  There was an intrigue between the newly appointed French
minister, de Russy, at the Hague and the enemies of Aerssens to represent
him to his own government as mischievous, passionate, unreasonably
vehement in supporting the claims and dignity of his own country at the
court to which he was accredited.  Not often in diplomatic history has
an ambassador of a free state been censured or removed for believing and
maintaining in controversy that his own government is in the right.  It
was natural that the French government should be disturbed by the vivid
light which he had flashed upon their pernicious intrigues with Spain to
the detriment of the Republic, and at the pertinacity with which he
resisted their preposterous claim to be reimbursed for one-third of the
money which the late king had advanced as a free subsidy towards the war
of the Netherlands for independence.  But no injustice could be more
outrageous than for the Envoy's own government to unite with the foreign
State in damaging the character of its own agent for the crime of
fidelity to itself.

Of such cruel perfidy Aerssens had been the victim, and he most
wrongfully suspected his chief as its real perpetrator.

The claim for what was called the "Third" had been invented after the
death of Henry.  As already explained, the "Third" was not a gift from
England to the Netherlands.  It was a loan from England to France, or
more properly a consent to abstain from pressing for payment for this
proportion of an old debt.  James, who was always needy, had often
desired, but never obtained, the payment of this sum from Henry.  Now
that the King was dead, he applied to the Regent's government, and the
Regent's government called upon the Netherlands, to pay the money.

Aerssens, as the agent of the Republic, protested firmly against such
claim.  The money had been advanced by the King as a free gift, as his
contribution to a war in which he was deeply interested, although he was
nominally at peace with Spain.  As to the private arrangements between
France and England, the Republic, said the Dutch envoy, was in no sense
bound by them.  He was no party to the Treaty of Hampton Court, and knew
nothing of its stipulations.

Courtiers and politicians in plenty at the French court, now that Henry
was dead, were quite sure that they had heard him say over and over again
that the Netherlands had bound themselves to pay the Third.  They
persuaded Mary de' Medici that she likewise had often heard him say so,
and induced her to take high ground on the subject in her interviews with
Aerssens.  The luckless queen, who was always in want of money to satisfy
the insatiable greed of her favourites, and to buy off the enmity of the
great princes, was very vehement--although she knew as much of those
transactions as of the finances of Prester John or the Lama of Thibet
--in maintaining this claim of her government upon the States.

"After talking with the ministers," said Aerssens, "I had an interview
with the Queen.  I knew that she had been taught her lesson, to insist on
the payment of the Third.  So I did not speak at all of the matter, but
talked exclusively and at length of the French regiments in the States'
service.  She was embarrassed, and did not know exactly what to say.
At last, without replying a single word to what I had been saying, she
became very red in the face, and asked me if I were not instructed to
speak of the money due to England.  Whereupon I spoke in the sense
already indicated.  She interrupted me by saying she had a perfect
recollection that the late king intended and understood that we were to
pay the Third to England, and had talked with her very seriously on the
subject.  If he were living, he would think it very strange, she said,
that we refused; and so on.

"Soissons, too, pretends to remember perfectly that such were the King's
intentions.  'Tis a very strange thing, Sir.  Every one knows now the
secrets of the late king, if you are willing to listen.  Yet he was not
in the habit of taking all the world into his confidence.  The Queen
takes her opinions as they give them to her.  'Tis a very good princess,
but I am sorry she is so ignorant of affairs.  As she says she remembers,
one is obliged to say one believes her.  But I, who knew the King so
intimately, and saw him so constantly, know that he could only have said
that the Third was paid in acquittal of his debts to and for account of
the King of England, and not that we were to make restitution thereof.
The Chancellor tells me my refusal has been taken as an affront by the
Queen, and Puysieux says it is a contempt which she can't swallow."

Aerssens on his part remained firm; his pertinacity being the greater
as he thoroughly understood the subject which he was talking about, an
advantage which was rarely shared in by those with whom he conversed.
The Queen, highly scandalized by his demeanour, became from that time
forth his bitter enemy, and, as already stated, was resolved to be rid
of him.

Nor was the Envoy at first desirous of remaining.  He had felt after
Henry's death and Sully's disgrace, and the complete transformation of
the France which he had known, that his power of usefulness was gone.
"Our enemies," he said, "have got the advantage which I used to have in
times past, and I recognize a great coldness towards us, which is
increasing every day."  Nevertheless, he yielded reluctantly to
Barneveld's request that he should for the time at least remain at his
post.  Later on, as the intrigues against him began to unfold themselves,
and his faithful services were made use of at home to blacken his
character and procure his removal, he refused to resign, as to do so
would be to play into the hands of his enemies, and by inference at
least to accuse himself of infidelity to his trust.

But his concealed rage and his rancor grew more deadly every day.  He was
fully aware of the plots against him, although he found it difficult to
trace them to their source.

"I doubt not," he wrote to Jacques de Maldere, the distinguished
diplomatist and senator, who had recently returned from his embassy to
England, "that this beautiful proposition of de Russy has been sent to
your Province of Zealand.  Does it not seem to you a plot well woven as
well in Holland as at this court to remove me from my post with
disreputation?  What have I done that should cause the Queen to
disapprove my proceedings?  Since the death of the late king I have
always opposed the Third, which they have been trying to fix upon the
treasury, on the ground that Henry never spoke to me of restitution, that
the receipts given were simple ones, and that the money given was spent
for the common benefit of France and the States under direction of the
King's government.  But I am expected here to obey M. de Villeroy, who
says that it was the intention of the late king to oblige us to make the
payment.  I am not accustomed to obey authority if it be not supported by
reason.  It is for my masters to reply and to defend me.  The Queen has
no reason to complain.  I have maintained the interests of my superiors.
But this is not the cause of the complaints.  My misfortune is that all
my despatches have been sent from Holland in copy to this court.  Most of
them contained free pictures of the condition and dealings of those who
govern here.  M. de Villeroy has found himself depicted often, and now
under pretext of a public negotiation he has found an opportunity of
revenging himself .  .  .  .  Besides this cause which Villeroy has found
for combing my head, Russy has given notice here that I have kept my
masters in the hopes of being honourably exempted from the claims of this
government.  The long letter which I wrote to M. de Barneveld justifies
my proceedings."

It is no wonder that the Ambassador was galled to the quick by the
outrage which those concerned in the government were seeking to put
upon him.  How could an honest man fail to be overwhelmed with rage
and anguish at being dishonoured before the world by his masters for
scrupulously doing his duty, and for maintaining the rights and dignity
of his own country?  He knew that the charges were but pretexts, that the
motives of his enemies were as base as the intrigues themselves, but he
also knew that the world usually sides with the government against the
individual, and that a man's reputation is rarely strong enough to
maintain itself unsullied in a foreign land when his own government
stretches forth its hand not to, shield, but to stab him.

     [See the similarity of Aerssens position to that of Motley 250 years
     later, in the biographical sketch of Motley by Oliver Wendell
     Holmes. D.W.]

"I know," he said, "that this plot has been woven partly in Holland and
partly here by good correspondence, in order to drive me from my post
with disreputation.  To this has tended the communication of my
despatches to make me lose my best friends.  This too was the object of
the particular imparting to de Russy of all my propositions, in order to
draw a complaint against me from this court.

"But as I have discovered this accurately, I have resolved to offer to my
masters the continuance of my very humble service for such time and under
such conditions as they may think good to prescribe.  I prefer forcing my
natural and private inclinations to giving an opportunity for the
ministers of this kingdom to discredit us, and to my enemies to succeed
in injuring me, and by fraud and malice to force me from my post .  .  .
I am truly sorry, being ready to retire, wishing to have an honourable
testimony in recompense of my labours, that one is in such hurry to take
advantage of my fall.  I cannot believe that my masters wish to suffer
this.  They are too prudent, and cannot be ignorant of the treachery
which has been practised on me.  I have maintained their cause.  If they
have chosen to throw down the fruits of my industry, the blame should be
imputed to those who consider their own ambition more than the interests
of the public .  .  .  .  What envoy will ever dare to speak with vigour
if he is not sustained by the government at home?  .  .  .  .  .  .
My enemies have misrepresented my actions, and my language as passionate,
exaggerated, mischievous, but I have no passion except for the service of
my superiors.  They say that I have a dark and distrustful disposition,
but I have been alarmed at the alliance now forming here with the King of
Spain, through the policy of M. de Villeroy.  I was the first to discover
this intrigue, which they thought buried in the bosom of the Triumvirate.
I gave notice of it to My Lords the States as in duty bound.  It all came
back to the government in the copies furnished of my secret despatches.
This is the real source of the complaints against me.  The rest of the
charges, relating to the Third and other matters, are but pretexts.
To parry the blow, they pretend that all that is said and done with the
Spaniard is but feigning.  Who is going to believe that?  Has not the
Pope intervened in the affair?  .  .  .  I tell you they are furious here
because I have my eyes open.  I see too far into their affairs to suit
their purposes.  A new man would suit them better."

His position was hopelessly compromised.  He remained in Paris, however,
month after month, and even year after year, defying his enemies both at
the Queen's court and in Holland, feeding fat the grudge he bore to
Barneveld as the supposed author of the intrigue against him, and drawing
closer the personal bands which united him to Bouillon and through him to
Prince Maurice.

The wrath of the Ambassador flamed forth without disguise against
Barneveld and all his adherents when his removal, as will be related on
a subsequent page, was at last effected.  And his hatred was likely to
be deadly.  A man with a shrewd, vivid face, cleanly cut features and a
restless eye; wearing a close-fitting skull cap, which gave him something
the lock of a monk, but with the thoroughbred and facile demeanour of
one familiar with the world; stealthy, smooth, and cruel, a man coldly
intellectual, who feared no one, loved but few, and never forgot or
forgave; Francis d'Aerssens, devoured by ambition and burning with
revenge, was a dangerous enemy.

Time was soon to show whether it was safe to injure him.  Barneveld, from
well-considered motives of public policy, was favouring his honourable
recall.  But he allowed a decorous interval of more than three years to
elapse in which to terminate his affairs, and to take a deliberate
departure from that French embassy to which the Advocate had originally
promoted him, and in which there had been so many years of mutual benefit
and confidence between the two statesmen.  He used no underhand means.
He did not abuse the power of the States-General which he wielded to cast
him suddenly and brutally from the distinguished post which he occupied,
and so to attempt to dishonour him before the world.  Nothing could be
more respectful and conciliatory than the attitude of the government from
first to last towards this distinguished functionary.  The Republic
respected itself too much to deal with honourable agents whose services
it felt obliged to dispense with as with vulgar malefactors who had been
detected in crime.  But Aerssens believed that it was the Advocate who
had caused copies of his despatches to be sent to the French court, and
that he had deliberately and for a fixed purpose been undermining his
influence at home and abroad and blackening his character.  All his
ancient feelings of devotion, if they had ever genuinely existed towards
his former friend and patron, turned to gall.  He was almost ready to
deny that he had ever respected Barneveld, appreciated his public
services, admired his intellect, or felt gratitude for his guidance.

A fierce controversy--to which at a later period it will be necessary to
call the reader's attention, because it is intimately connected with dark
scenes afterwards to be enacted--took place between the late ambassador
and Cornelis van der Myle.  Meantime Barneveld pursued the policy which
he had marked out for the States-General in regard to France.

Certainly it was a difficult problem.  There could be no doubt that
metamorphosed France could only be a dangerous ally for the Republic.
It was in reality impossible that she should be her ally at all.
And this Barneveld knew.  Still it was better, so he thought, for the
Netherlands that France should exist than that it should fall into utter
decomposition.  France, though under the influence of Spain, and doubly
allied by marriage contracts to Spain, was better than Spain itself in
the place of France.  This seemed to be the only choice between two
evils.  Should the whole weight of the States-General be thrown into the
scale of the malcontent and mutinous princes against the established but
tottering government of France, it was difficult to say how soon Spain
might literally, as well as inferentially, reign in Paris.

Between the rebellion and the legitimate government, therefore, Barneveld
did not hesitate.  France, corporate France, with which the Republic had
bean so long in close and mutually advantageous alliance, and from whose
late monarch she had received such constant and valuable benefits, was in
the Advocate's opinion the only power to be recognised, Papal and Spanish
though it was.  The advantage of an alliance with the fickle, self-
seeking, and ever changing mutiny, that was seeking to make use of
Protestantism to effect its own ends, was in his eyes rather specious
than real.

By this policy, while making the breach irreparable with Aerssens and as
many leading politicians as Aerssens could influence, he first brought on
himself the stupid accusation of swerving towards Spain.  Dull murmurs
like these, which were now but faintly making themselves heard against
the reputation of the Advocate, were destined ere long to swell into a
mighty roar; but he hardly listened now to insinuations which seemed
infinitely below his contempt.  He still effectually ruled the nation
through his influence in the States of Holland, where he reigned supreme.
Thus far Barneveld and My Lords the States-General were one personage.

But there was another great man in the State who had at last grown
impatient of the Advocate's power, and was secretly resolved to brook it
no longer.  Maurice of Nassau had felt himself too long rebuked by the
genius of the Advocate.  The Prince had perhaps never forgiven him for
the political guardianship which he had exercised over him ever since the
death of William the Silent.  He resented the leading strings by which
his youthful footstep had been sustained, and which he seemed always to
feel about his limbs so long as Barneveld existed.  He had never
forgotten the unpalatable advice given to him by the Advocate through the

The brief campaign in Cleve and Julich was the last great political
operation in which the two were likely to act in even apparent harmony.
But the rivalry between the two had already pronounced itself
emphatically during the negotiations for the truce.  The Advocate had
felt it absolutely necessary for the Republic to suspend the war at the
first moment when she could treat with her ancient sovereign on a footing
of equality.  Spain, exhausted with the conflict, had at last consented
to what she considered the humiliation of treating with her rebellious
provinces as with free states over which she claimed no authority.  The
peace party, led by Barneveld, had triumphed, notwithstanding the steady
opposition of Prince Maurice and his adherents.

Why had Maurice opposed the treaty?  Because his vocation was over,
because he was the greatest captain of the age, because his emoluments,
his consideration, his dignity before the world, his personal power, were
all vastly greater in war than in his opinion they could possibly be in
peace.  It was easy for him to persuade himself that what was manifestly
for his individual interest was likewise essential to the prosperity of
the country.

The diminution in his revenues consequent on the return to peace was made
good to him, his brother, and his cousin, by most munificent endowments
and pensions.  And it was owing to the strenuous exertions of the
Advocate that these large sums were voted.  A hollow friendship was
kept up between the two during the first few years of the truce,
but resentment and jealousy lay deep in Maurice's heart.

At about the period of the return of Aerssens from his French embassy,
the suppressed fire was ready to flame forth at the first fanning by that
artful hand.  It was impossible, so Aerssens thought and whispered, that
two heads could remain on one body politic.  There was no room in the
Netherlands for both the Advocate and the Prince.  Barneveld was in all
civil affairs dictator, chief magistrate, supreme judge; but he occupied
this high station by the force of intellect, will, and experience, not
through any constitutional provision.  In time of war the Prince was
generalissimo, commander-in-chief of all the armies of the Republic.
Yet constitutionally he was not captain-general at all.  He was only
stadholder of five out of seven provinces.

Barneveld suspected him of still wishing to make himself sovereign of the
country.  Perhaps his suspicions were incorrect.  Yet there was every
reason why Maurice should be ambitious of that position.  It would have
been in accordance with the openly expressed desire of Henry IV. and
other powerful allies of the Netherlands.  His father's assassination had
alone prevented his elevation to the rank of sovereign Count of Holland.
The federal policy of the Provinces had drifted into a republican form
after their renunciation of their Spanish sovereign, not because the
people, or the States as representing the people, had deliberately chosen
a republican system, but because they could get no powerful monarch to
accept the sovereignty.  They had offered to become subjects of
Protestant England and of Catholic France.  Both powers had refused the
offer, and refused it with something like contumely.  However deep the
subsequent regret on the part of both, there was no doubt of the fact.
But the internal policy in all the provinces, and in all the towns, was
republican.  Local self-government existed everywhere.  Each city
magistracy was a little republic in itself.  The death of William the
Silent, before he had been invested with the sovereign power of all seven
provinces, again left that sovereignty in abeyance.  Was the supreme
power of the Union, created at Utrecht in 1579, vested in the States-

They were beginning theoretically to claim it, but Barneveld denied the
existence of any such power either in law or fact.  It was a league of
sovereignties, he maintained; a confederacy of seven independent states,
united for certain purposes by a treaty made some thirty years before.
Nothing could be more imbecile, judging by the light of subsequent events
and the experience of centuries, than such an organization.  The
independent and sovereign republic of Zealand or of Groningen, for
example, would have made a poor figure campaigning, or negotiating, or
exhibiting itself on its own account before the world.  Yet it was
difficult to show any charter, precedent, or prescription for the
sovereignty of the States-General.  Necessary as such an incorporation
was for the very existence of the Union, no constitutional union had ever
been enacted.  Practically the Province of Holland, representing more
than half the population, wealth, strength, and intellect of the whole
confederation, had achieved an irregular supremacy in the States-General.
But its undeniable superiority was now causing a rank growth of envy,
hatred, and jealousy throughout the country, and the great Advocate of
Holland, who was identified with the province, and had so long wielded
its power, was beginning to reap the full harvest of that malice.

Thus while there was so much of vagueness in theory and practice as to
the sovereignty, there was nothing criminal on the part of Maurice if he
was ambitious of obtaining the sovereignty himself.  He was not seeking
to compass it by base artifice or by intrigue of any kind.  It was very
natural that he should be restive under the dictatorship of the Advocate.
If a single burgher and lawyer could make himself despot of the
Netherlands, how much more reasonable that he--with the noblest blood of
Europe in his veins, whose direct ancestor three centuries before had
been emperor not only of those provinces, but of all Germany and half
Christendom besides, whose immortal father had under God been the creator
and saviour of the new commonwealth, had made sacrifices such as man
never made for a people, and had at last laid down his life in its
defence; who had himself fought daily from boyhood upwards in the great
cause, who had led national armies from victory to victory till he had
placed his country as a military school and a belligerent power foremost
among the nations, and had at last so exhausted and humbled the great
adversary and former tyrant that he had been glad of a truce while the
rebel chief would have preferred to continue the war--should aspire to
rule by hereditary right a land with which his name and his race were
indelibly associated by countless sacrifices and heroic achievements.

It was no crime in Maurice to desire the sovereignty.  It was still less
a crime in Barneveld to believe that he desired it.  There was no special
reason why the Prince should love the republican form of government
provided that an hereditary one could be legally substituted for it.
He had sworn allegiance to the statutes, customs, and privileges of each
of the provinces of which he had been elected stadholder, but there would
have been no treason on his part if the name and dignity of stadholder
should be changed by the States themselves for those of King or sovereign

Yet it was a chief grievance against the Advocate on the part of the
Prince that Barneveld believed him capable of this ambition.

The Republic existed as a fact, but it had not long existed, nor had it
ever received a formal baptism.  So undefined was its constitution, and
so conflicting were the various opinions in regard to it of eminent men,
that it would be difficult to say how high-treason could be committed
against it.  Great lawyers of highest intellect and learning believed the
sovereign power to reside in the separate states, others found that
sovereignty in the city magistracies, while during a feverish period of
war and tumult the supreme function had without any written constitution,
any organic law, practically devolved upon the States-General, who had
now begun to claim it as a right.  The Republic was neither venerable by
age nor impregnable in law.  It was an improvised aristocracy of lawyers,
manufacturers, bankers, and corporations which had done immense work and
exhibited astonishing sagacity and courage, but which might never have
achieved the independence of the Provinces unaided by the sword of
Orange-Nassau and the magic spell which belonged to that name.

Thus a bitter conflict was rapidly developing itself in the heart of the
Commonwealth.  There was the civil element struggling with the military
for predominance; sword against gown; states' rights against central
authority; peace against war; above all the rivalry of one prominent
personage against another, whose mutual hatred was now artfully inflamed
by partisans.

And now another element of discord had come, more potent than all the
rest: the terrible, never ending, struggle of Church against State.
Theological hatred which forty years long had found vent in the exchange
of acrimony between the ancient and the Reformed churches was now
assuming other shapes.  Religion in that age and country was more than
has often been the case in history the atmosphere of men's daily lives.
But during the great war for independence, although the hostility between
the two religious forces was always intense, it was modified especially
towards the close of the struggle by other controlling influences.  The
love of independence and the passion for nationality, the devotion to
ancient political privileges, was often as fervid and genuine in Catholic
bosoms as in those of Protestants, and sincere adherents of the ancient
church had fought to the death against Spain in defence of chartered

At that very moment it is probable that half the population of the United
Provinces was Catholic.  Yet it would be ridiculous to deny that the
aggressive, uncompromising; self-sacrificing, intensely believing,
perfectly fearless spirit of Calvinism had been the animating soul, the
motive power of the great revolt.  For the Provinces to have encountered
Spain and Rome without Calvinism, and relying upon municipal enthusiasm
only, would have been to throw away the sword and fight with the

But it is equally certain that those hot gospellers who had suffered so
much martyrdom and achieved so many miracles were fully aware of their
power and despotic in its exercise.  Against the oligarchy of commercial
and juridical corporations they stood there the most terrible aristocracy
of all: the aristocracy of God's elect, predestined from all time and to
all eternity to take precedence of and to look down upon their inferior
and lost fellow creatures.  It was inevitable that this aristocracy,
which had done so much, which had breathed into a new-born commonwealth
the breath of its life, should be intolerant, haughty, dogmatic.

The Church of Rome, which had been dethroned after inflicting such
exquisite tortures during its period of power, was not to raise its head.
Although so large a proportion of the inhabitants of the country were
secretly or openly attached to that faith, it was a penal offence to
participate openly in its rites and ceremonies.  Religious equality,
except in the minds of a few individuals, was an unimaginable idea.
There was still one Church which arrogated to itself the sole possession
of truth, the Church of Geneva.  Those who admitted the possibility of
other forms and creeds were either Atheists or, what was deemed worse
than Atheists, Papists, because Papists were assumed to be traitors also,
and desirous of selling the country to Spain.  An undevout man in that
land and at that epoch was an almost unknown phenomenon.  Religion was
as much a recognized necessity of existence as food or drink.  It were
as easy to find people about without clothes as without religious

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

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.

This was the practical question involved in the fierce dispute as to
dogma.  The famous duel between Arminius and Gomarus; the splendid
theological tournaments which succeeded; six champions on a side armed in
full theological panoply and swinging the sharpest curtal axes which
learning, passion, and acute intellect could devise, had as yet produced
no beneficent result.  Nobody had been convinced by the shock of
argument, by the exchange of those desperate blows.  The High Council
of the Hague had declared that no difference of opinion in the Church
existed sufficient to prevent fraternal harmony and happiness.  But
Gomarus loudly declared that, if there were no means of putting down the
heresy of Arminius, there would before long be a struggle such as would
set province against province, village against village, family against
family, throughout the land.  He should be afraid to die in such
doctrine.  He shuddered that any one should dare to come before God's
tribunal with such blasphemies.  Meantime his great adversary, the
learned and eloquent, the musical, frolicsome, hospitable heresiarch was
no more.  Worn out with controversy, but peaceful and happy in the
convictions which were so bitterly denounced by Gomarus and a large
proportion of both preachers and laymen in the Netherlands, and convinced
that the schism which in his view had been created by those who called
themselves the orthodox would weaken the cause of Protestantism
throughout Europe, Arminius died at the age of forty-nine.

The magistrates throughout Holland, with the exception of a few cities,
were Arminian, the preachers Gomarian; for Arminius ascribed to the
civil authority the right to decide upon church matters, while Gomarus
maintained that ecclesiastical affairs should be regulated in
ecclesiastical assemblies.  The overseers of Leyden University appointed
Conrad Vorstius to be professor of theology in place of Arminius.  The
selection filled to the brim the cup of bitterness, for no man was more
audaciously latitudinarian than he.  He was even suspected of
Socinianism.  There came a shriek from King James, fierce and shrill
enough to rouse Arminius from his grave.  James foamed to the mouth at
the insolence of the overseers in appointing such a monster of infidelity
to the professorship.  He ordered his books to be publicly burned in St.
Paul's Churchyard and at both Universities, and would have burned the
Professor himself with as much delight as Torquemada or Peter Titelman
ever felt in roasting their victims, had not the day for such festivities
gone by.  He ordered the States of Holland on pain of for ever forfeiting
his friendship to exclude Vorstius at once from the theological chair and
to forbid him from "nestling anywhere in the country."

He declared his amazement that they should tolerate such a pest as Conrad
Vorstius.  Had they not had enough of the seed sown by that foe of God,
Arminius?  He ordered the States-General to chase the blasphemous monster
from the land, or else he would cut off all connection with their false
and heretic churches and make the other Reformed churches of Europe do
the same, nor should the youth of England ever be allowed to frequent the
University of Leyden.

In point of fact the Professor was never allowed to qualify, to preach,
or to teach; so tremendous was the outcry of Peter Plancius and many
orthodox preachers, echoing the wrath of the King.  He lived at Gouda
in a private capacity for several years, until the Synod of Dordrecht
at last publicly condemned his opinions and deprived him of his

Meantime, the preachers who were disciples of Arminius had in a private
assembly drawn up what was called a Remonstrance, addressed to the States
of Holland, and defending themselves from the reproach that they were
seeking change in the Divine service and desirous of creating tumult and

This Remonstrance, set forth by the pen of the famous Uytenbogaert, whom
Gomarus called the Court Trumpeter, because for a long time he had been
Prince Maurice's favourite preacher, was placed in the hands of
Barneveld, for delivery to the States of Holland.  Thenceforth the
Arminians were called Remonstrants.

The Hague Conference followed, six preachers on a side, and the States of
Holland exhorted to fraternal compromise.  Until further notice, they
decreed that no man should be required to believe more than had been laid
down in the Five Points:

I.  God has from eternity resolved to choose to eternal life those who
through his grace believe in Jesus Christ, and in faith and obedience so
continue to the end, and to condemn the unbelieving and unconverted to
eternal damnation.

II.  Jesus Christ died for all; so, nevertheless, that no one actually
except believers is redeemed by His death.

III.  Man has not the saving belief from himself, nor out of his free
will, but he needs thereto God's grace in Christ.

IV.  This grace is the beginning, continuation, and completion of man's
salvation; all good deeds must be ascribed to it, but it does not work

V.  God's grace gives sufficient strength to the true believers to
overcome evil; but whether they cannot lose grace should be more closely
examined before it should be taught in full security.

Afterwards they expressed themselves more distinctly on this point, and
declared that a true believer, through his own fault, can fall away from
God and lose faith.

Before the conference, however, the Gomarite preachers had drawn up a
Contra-Remonstrance of Seven Points in opposition to the Remonstrants'

They demanded the holding of a National Synod to settle the difference
between these Five and Seven Points, or the sending of them to foreign
universities for arbitration, a mutual promise being given by the
contending parties to abide by the decision.

Thus much it has been necessary to state concerning what in the
seventeenth century was called the platform of the two great parties:
a term which has been perpetuated in our own country, and is familiar
to all the world in the nineteenth.

These were the Seven Points:

I.  God has chosen from eternity certain persons out of the human race,
which in and with Adam fell into sin and has no more power to believe and
Convert itself than a dead man to restore himself to life, in order to
make them blessed through Christ; while He passes by the rest through His
righteous judgment, and leaves them lying in their sins.

II.  Children of believing parents, as well as full-grown believers, are
to be considered as elect so long as they with action do not prove the

III.  God in His election has not looked at the belief and the repentance
of the elect; but, on the contrary, in His eternal and unchangeable
design, has resolved to give to the elect faith and stedfastness, and
thus to make them blessed.

IV.  He, to this end, in the first place, presented to them His only
begotten Son, whose sufferings, although sufficient for the expiation of
all men's sins, nevertheless, according to God's decree, serves alone to
the reconciliation of the elect.

V.  God causest he Gospel to be preached to them, making the same through
the Holy Ghost, of strength upon their minds; so that they not merely
obtain power to repent and to believe, but also actually and voluntarily
do repent and believe.

VI.  Such elect, through the same power of the Holy Ghost through which
they have once become repentant and believing, are kept in such wise that
they indeed through weakness fall into heavy sins; but can never wholly
and for always lose the true faith.

VII.  True believers from this, however, draw no reason for fleshly
quiet, it being impossible that they who through a true faith were
planted in Christ should bring forth no fruits of thankfulness; the
promises of God's help and the warnings of Scripture tending to make
their salvation work in them in fear and trembling, and to cause them
more earnestly to desire help from that spirit without which they can
do nothing.

There shall be no more setting forth of these subtle and finely wrought
abstractions in our pages.  We aspire not to the lofty heights of
theological and supernatural contemplation, where the atmosphere becomes
too rarefied for ordinary constitutions.  Rather we attempt an objective
and level survey of remarkable phenomena manifesting themselves on the
earth; direct or secondary emanations from those distant spheres.

For in those days, and in that land especially, theology and politics
were one.  It may be questioned at least whether this practical fusion
of elements, which may with more safety to the Commonwealth be kept
separate, did not tend quite as much to lower and contaminate the
religious sentiments as to elevate the political idea.  To mix habitually
the solemn phraseology which men love to reserve for their highest and
most sacred needs with the familiar slang of politics and trade seems
to our generation not a very desirable proceeding.

The aroma of doubly distilled and highly sublimated dogma is more
difficult to catch than to comprehend the broader and more practical
distinctions of every-day party strife.

King James was furious at the thought that common men--the vulgar, the
people in short--should dare to discuss deep problems of divinity which,
as he confessed, had puzzled even his royal mind.  Barneveld modestly
disclaimed the power of seeing with absolute clearness into things beyond
the reach of the human intellect.  But the honest Netherlanders were not
abashed by thunder from the royal pulpit, nor perplexed by hesitations
which darkened the soul of the great Advocate.

In burghers' mansions, peasants' cottages, mechanics' back-parlours, on
board herring smacks, canal boats, and East Indiamen; in shops, counting-
rooms, farmyards, guard-rooms, ale-houses; on the exchange, in the
tennis-court, on the mall; at banquets, at burials, christenings, or
bridals; wherever and whenever human creatures met each other, there
was ever to be found the fierce wrangle of Remonstrant and Contra-
Remonstrant, the hissing of red-hot theological rhetoric, the pelting of
hostile texts.  The blacksmith's iron cooled on the anvil, the tinker
dropped a kettle half mended, the broker left a bargain unclinched, the
Scheveningen fisherman in his wooden shoes forgot the cracks in his
pinkie, while each paused to hold high converse with friend or foe on
fate, free will, or absolute foreknowledge; losing himself in wandering
mazes whence there was no issue.  Province against province, city against
city, family against family; it was one vast scene of bickering,
denunciation, heart-burnings, mutual excommunication and hatred.

Alas! a generation of mankind before, men had stood banded together to
resist, with all the might that comes from union, the fell spirit of the
Holy Inquisition, which was dooming all who had wandered from the ancient
fold or resisted foreign tyranny to the axe, the faggot, the living
grave.  There had been small leisure then for men who fought for
Fatherland, and for comparative liberty of conscience, to tear each
others' characters in pieces, and to indulge in mutual hatreds and
loathing on the question of predestination.

As a rule the population, especially of the humbler classes, and a great
majority of the preachers were Contra-Remonstrant; the magistrates, the
burgher patricians, were Remonstrant.  In Holland the controlling
influence was Remonstrant; but Amsterdam and four or five other cities of
that province held to the opposite doctrine.  These cities formed
therefore a small minority in the States Assembly of Holland sustained by
a large majority in the States-General.  The Province of Utrecht was
almost unanimously Remonstrant.  The five other provinces were decidedly

It is obvious therefore that the influence of Barneveld, hitherto so all-
controlling in the States-General, and which rested on the complete
submission of the States of Holland to his will, was tottering.  The
battle-line between Church and State was now drawn up; and it was at the
same time a battle between the union and the principles of state

It had long since been declared through the mouth of the Advocate, but
in a solemn state manifesto, that My Lords the States-General were the
foster-fathers and the natural protectors of the Church, to whom supreme
authority in church matters belonged.

The Contra-Remonstrants, on the other hand, maintained that all the
various churches made up one indivisible church, seated above the States,
whether Provincial or General, and governed by the Holy Ghost acting
directly upon the congregations.

As the schism grew deeper and the States-General receded from the
position which they had taken up under the lead of the Advocate, the
scene was changed.  A majority of the Provinces being Contra-Remonstrant,
and therefore in favour of a National Synod, the States-General as a body
were of necessity for the Synod.

It was felt by the clergy that, if many churches existed, they would all
remain subject to the civil authority.  The power of the priesthood would
thus sink before that of the burgher aristocracy.  There must be one
church--the Church of Geneva and Heidelberg--if that theocracy which the
Gomarites meant to establish was not to vanish as a dream.  It was
founded on Divine Right, and knew no chief magistrate but the Holy Ghost.
A few years before the States-General had agreed to a National Synod, but
with a condition that there should be revision of the Netherland
Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism.

Against this the orthodox infallibilists had protested and thundered,
because it was an admission that the vile Arminian heresy might perhaps
be declared correct.  It was now however a matter of certainty that the
States-General would cease to oppose the unconditional Synod, because the
majority sided with the priesthood.

The magistrates of Leyden had not long before opposed the demand for a
Synod on the ground that the war against Spain was not undertaken to
maintain one sect; that men of various sects and creeds had fought with
equal valour against the common foe; that religious compulsion was
hateful, and that no synod had a right to claim Netherlanders as slaves.

To thoughtful politicians like Barneveld, Hugo Grotius, and men who acted
with them, fraught with danger to the state, that seemed a doctrine by
which mankind were not regarded as saved or doomed according to belief
or deeds, but as individuals divided from all eternity into two classes
which could never be united, but must ever mutually regard each other as

And like enemies Netherlanders were indeed beginning to regard each
other.  The man who, banded like brothers, had so heroically fought for
two generations long for liberty against an almost superhuman despotism,
now howling and jeering against each other like demons, seemed determined
to bring the very name of liberty into contempt.

Where the Remonstrants were in the ascendant, they excited the hatred and
disgust of the orthodox by their overbearing determination to carry their
Five Points.  A broker in Rotterdam of the Contra-Remonstrant persuasion,
being about to take a wife, swore he had rather be married by a pig than
a parson.  For this sparkling epigram he was punished by the Remonstrant
magistracy with loss of his citizenship for a year and the right to
practise his trade for life.  A casuistical tinker, expressing himself
violently in the same city against the Five Points, and disrespectfully
towards the magistrates for tolerating them, was banished from the town.
A printer in the neighbourhood, disgusted with these and similar efforts
of tyranny on the part of the dominant party, thrust a couple of lines of
doggrel into the lottery:

    "In name of the Prince of Orange, I ask once and again,
     What difference between the Inquisition of Rotterdam and Spain?"

For this poetical effort the printer was sentenced to forfeit the prize
that he had drawn in the lottery, and to be kept in prison on bread and
water for a fortnight.

Certainly such punishments were hardly as severe as being beheaded or
burned or buried alive, as would have been the lot of tinkers and
printers and brokers who opposed the established church in the days of
Alva, but the demon of intolerance, although its fangs were drawn, still
survived, and had taken possession of both parties in the Reformed
Church.  For it was the Remonstrants who had possession of the churches
at Rotterdam, and the printer's distich is valuable as pointing out that
the name of Orange was beginning to identify itself with the Contra-
Remonstrant faction.  At this time, on the other hand, the gabble that
Barneveld had been bought by Spanish gold, and was about to sell his
country to Spain, became louder than a whisper.  Men were not ashamed,
from theological hatred, to utter such senseless calumnies against a
venerable statesman whose long life had been devoted to the cause of his
country's independence and to the death struggle with Spain.

As if because a man admitted the possibility of all his fellow-creatures
being saved from damnation through repentance and the grace of God, he
must inevitably be a traitor to his country and a pensionary of her
deadliest foe.

And where the Contra-Remonstrants held possession of the churches and the
city governments, acts of tyranny which did not then seem ridiculous were
of everyday occurrence.  Clergymen, suspected of the Five Points, were
driven out of the pulpits with bludgeons or assailed with brickbats at
the church door.  At Amsterdam, Simon Goulart, for preaching the doctrine
of universal salvation and for disputing the eternal damnation of young
children, was forbidden thenceforth to preach at all.

But it was at the Hague that the schism in religion and politics first
fatally widened itself.  Henry Rosaeus, an eloquent divine, disgusted
with his colleague Uytenbogaert, refused all communion with him, and was
in consequence suspended.  Excluded from the Great Church, where he had
formerly ministered, he preached every Sunday at Ryswyk, two or three
miles distant.  Seven hundred Contra-Remonstrants of the Hague followed
their beloved pastor, and, as the roads to Ryswyk were muddy and sloppy
in winter, acquired the unsavoury nickname of the "Mud Beggars."  The
vulgarity of heart which suggested the appellation does not inspire
to-day great sympathy with the Remonstrant party, even if one were
inclined to admit, what is not the fact, that they represented the cause
of religious equality.  For even the illustrious Grotius was at that very
moment repudiating the notion that there could be two religions in one
state.  "Difference in public worship," he said, "was in kingdoms
pernicious, but in free commonwealths in the highest degree destructive."

It was the struggle between Church and State for supremacy over the whole
body politic.  "The Reformation," said Grotius, "was not brought about by
synods, but by kings, princes, and magistrates."  It was the same eternal
story, the same terrible two-edged weapon, "Cujus reggio ejus religio,"
found in the arsenal of the first Reformers, and in every politico-
religious arsenal of history.

"By an eternal decree of God," said Gomarus in accordance with Calvin,
"it has been fixed who are to be saved and who damned.  By His decree
some are drawn to faith and godliness, and, being drawn, can never fall
away.  God leaves all the rest in the general corruption of human nature
and their own misdeeds."

"God has from eternity made this distinction in the fallen human race,"
said Arminius, "that He pardons those who desist from their sins and put
their faith in Christ, and will give them eternal life, but will punish
those who remain impenitent.  Moreover, it is pleasanter to God that all
men should repent, and, coming to knowledge of truth, remain therein, but
He compels none."

This was the vital difference of dogma.  And it was because they could
hold no communion with those who believed in the efficacy of repentance
that Rosaeus and his followers had seceded to Ryswyk, and the Reformed
Church had been torn into two very unequal parts.  But it is difficult to
believe that out of this arid field of controversy so plentiful a harvest
of hatred and civil convulsion could have ripened.  More practical than
the insoluble problems, whether repentance could effect salvation, and
whether dead infants were hopelessly damned, was the question who should
rule both Church and State.

There could be but one church.  On that Remonstrants and Contra-
Remonstrants were agreed.  But should the five Points or the Seven
Points obtain the mastery?  Should that framework of hammered iron, the
Confession and Catechism, be maintained in all its rigidity around the
sheepfold, or should the disciples of the arch-heretic Arminius, the
salvation-mongers, be permitted to prowl within it?

Was Barneveld, who hated the Reformed religion (so men told each other),
and who believed in nothing, to continue dictator of the whole Republic
through his influence over one province, prescribing its religious dogmas
and laying down its laws; or had not the time come for the States-General
to vindicate the rights of the Church, and to crush for ever the
pernicious principle of State sovereignty and burgher oligarchy?

The abyss was wide and deep, and the wild waves were raging more madly
every hour.  The Advocate, anxious and troubled, but undismayed, did his
best in the terrible emergency.  He conferred with Prince Maurice on the
subject of the Ryswyk secession, and men said that he sought to impress
upon him, as chief of the military forces, the necessity of putting down
religious schism with the armed hand.

The Prince had not yet taken a decided position.  He was still under the
influence of John Uytenbogaert, who with Arminius and the Advocate made
up the fateful three from whom deadly disasters were deemed to have come
upon the Commonwealth.  He wished to remain neutral.  But no man can be
neutral in civil contentions threatening the life of the body politic any
more than the heart can be indifferent if the human frame is sawn in two.

"I am a soldier," said Maurice, "not a divine.  These are matters of
theology which I don't understand, and about which I don't trouble

On another occasion he is reported to have said, "I know nothing of
predestination, whether it is green or whether it is blue; but I do know
that the Advocate's pipe and mine will never play the same tune."

It was not long before he fully comprehended the part which he must
necessarily play.  To say that he was indifferent to religious matters
was as ridiculous as to make a like charge against Barneveld.  Both
were religious men.  It would have been almost impossible to find an
irreligious character in that country, certainly not among its highest-
placed and leading minds.  Maurice had strong intellectual powers.  He
was a regular attendant on divine worship, and was accustomed to hear
daily religious discussions.  To avoid them indeed, he would have been
obliged not only to fly his country, but to leave Europe.  He had a
profound reverence for the memory of his father, Calbo y Calbanista, as
William the Silent had called himself.  But the great prince had died
before these fierce disputes had torn the bosom of the Reformed Church,
and while Reformers still were brethren.  But if Maurice were a religious
man, he was also a keen politician; a less capable politician, however,
than a soldier, for he was confessedly the first captain of his age.
He was not rapid in his conceptions, but he was sure in the end to
comprehend his opportunity.

The Church, the people, the Union--the sacerdotal, the democratic,
and the national element--united under a name so potent to conjure
with as the name of Orange-Nassau, was stronger than any other possible
combination.  Instinctively and logically therefore the Stadholder found
himself the chieftain of the Contra-Remonstrant party, and without the
necessity of an apostasy such as had been required of his great
contemporary to make himself master of France.

The power of Barneveld and his partisans was now put to a severe strain.
His efforts to bring back the Hague seceders were powerless.  The
influence of Uytenbogaert over the Stadholder steadily diminished.  He
prayed to be relieved from his post in the Great Church of the Hague,
especially objecting to serve with a Contra-Remonstrant preacher whom
Maurice wished to officiate there in place of the seceding Rosaeus.  But
the Stadholder refused to let him go, fearing his influence in other
places.  "There is stuff in him," said Maurice, "to outweigh half a dozen
Contra-Remonstrant preachers."  Everywhere in Holland  the opponents of
the Five Points refused to go to the churches, and set up tabernacles for
themselves in barns, outhouses, canal-boats.  And the authorities in town
and village nailed up the barn-doors, and dispersed the canal boat
congregations, while the populace pelted them with stones.  The seceders
appealed to the Stadholder, pleading that at least they ought to be
allowed to hear the word of God as they understood it without being
forced into churches where they were obliged to hear Arminian blasphemy.
At least their barns might be left them.  "Barns," said Maurice, "barns
and outhouses!  Are we to preach in barns?  The churches belong to us,
and we mean to have them too."

Not long afterwards the Stadholder, clapping his hand on his sword hilt,
observed that these differences could only be settled by force of arms.
An ominous remark and a dreary comment on the forty years' war against
the Inquisition.

And the same scenes that were enacting in Holland were going on in
Overyssel and Friesland and Groningen; but with a difference.  Here it
was the Five Points men who were driven into secession, whose barns were
nailed up, and whose preachers were mobbed.  A lugubrious spectacle, but
less painful certainly than the hangings and drownings and burnings alive
in the previous century to prevent secession from the indivisible church.

It is certain that stadholders and all other magistrates ever since the
establishment of independence were sworn to maintain the Reformed
religion and to prevent a public divine worship under any other form.  It
is equally certain that by the 13th Article of the Act of Union--the
organic law of the confederation made at Utrecht in 1579--each province
reserved for itself full control of religious questions.  It would indeed
seem almost unimaginable in a country where not only every province, but
every city, every municipal board, was so jealous of its local privileges
and traditional rights that the absolute disposition over the highest,
gravest, and most difficult questions that can inspire and perplex
humanity should be left to a general government, and one moreover which
had scarcely come into existence.

Yet into this entirely illogical position the Commonwealth was steadily
drifting.  The cause was simple enough.  The States of Holland, as
already observed, were Remonstrant by a large majority.  The States-
General were Contra-Remonstrant by a still greater majority.  The Church,
rigidly attached to the Confession and Catechism, and refusing all change
except through decree of a synod to be called by the general government
which it controlled, represented the national idea.  It thus identified
itself with the Republic, and was in sympathy with a large majority of
the population.

Logic, law, historical tradition were on the side of the Advocate and
the States' right party.  The instinct of national self-preservation,
repudiating the narrow and destructive doctrine of provincial
sovereignty, were on the side of the States-General and the Church.

Meantime James of Great Britain had written letters both to the States of
Holland and the States-General expressing his satisfaction with the Five
Points, and deciding that there was nothing objectionable in the doctrine
of predestination therein set forth.  He had recommended unity and peace
in Church and Assembly, and urged especially that these controverted
points should not be discussed in the pulpit to the irritation and
perplexity of the common people.

The King's letters had produced much satisfaction in the moderate party.
Barneveld and his followers were then still in the ascendant, and it
seemed possible that the Commonwealth might enjoy a few moments of
tranquillity.  That James had given a new exhibition of his astounding
inconsistency was a matter very indifferent to all but himself, and he
was the last man to trouble himself for that reproach.

It might happen, when be should come to realize how absolutely he had
obeyed the tuition of the Advocate and favoured the party which he had
been so vehemently opposing, that he might regret and prove willing to
retract.  But for the time being the course of politics had seemed
running smoother.  The acrimony of the relations between the English
government and dominant party at the Hague was sensibly diminished.  The
King seemed for an instant to have obtained a true insight into the
nature of the struggle in the States.  That it was after all less a
theological than a political question which divided parties had at last
dawned upon him.

"If you have occasion to write on the subject," said Barneveld, "it is
above all necessary to make it clear that ecclesiastical persons and
their affairs must stand under the direction of the sovereign authority,
for our preachers understand that the disposal of ecclesiastical persons
and affairs belongs to them, so that they alone are to appoint preachers,
elders, deacons, and other clerical persons, and to regulate the whole
ecclesiastical administration according to their pleasure or by a popular
government which they call the community."

"The Counts of Holland from all ancient times were never willing under
the Papacy to surrender their right of presentation to the churches and
control of all spiritual and ecclesiastical benefices.  The Emperor
Charles and King Philip even, as Counts of Holland, kept these rights to
themselves, save that they in enfeoffing more than a hundred gentlemen,
of noble and ancient families with seigniorial manors, enfeoffed them
also with the right of presentation to churches and benefices on their
respective estates.  Our preachers pretend to have won this right against
the Countship, the gentlemen, nobles, and others, and that it belongs to

It is easy to see that this was a grave, constitutional, legal, and
historical problem not to be solved offhand by vehement citations from
Scripture, nor by pragmatical dissertations from the lips of foreign

"I believe this point," continued Barneveld, "to be the most difficult
question of all, importing far more than subtle searchings and
conflicting sentiments as to passages of Holy Writ, or disputations
concerning God's eternal predestination and other points thereupon
depending.  Of these doctrines the Archbishop of Canterbury well observed
in the Conference of 1604 that one ought to teach them ascendendo and not

The letters of the King had been very favourably received both in the
States-General and in the Assembly of Holland.  "You will present the
replies," wrote Barneveld to the ambassador in London, "at the best
opportunity and with becoming compliments.  You may be assured and assure
his Majesty that they have been very agreeable to both assemblies.  Our
commissioners over there on the East Indian matter ought to know nothing
of these letters."

This statement is worthy of notice, as Grotius was one of those
commissioners, and, as will subsequently appear, was accused of being
the author of the letters.

"I understand from others," continued the Advocate, "that the gentleman
well known to you--[Obviously Francis Aerssens]--is not well pleased
that through other agency than his these letters have been written and
presented.  I think too that the other business is much against his
grain, but on the whole since your departure he has accommodated himself
to the situation."

But if Aerssens for the moment seemed quiet, the orthodox clergy were

"I know," said Barneveld, "that some of our ministers are so audacious
that of themselves, or through others, they mean to work by direct or
indirect means against these letters.  They mean to show likewise that
there are other and greater differences of doctrine than those already
discussed.  You will keep a sharp eye on the sails and provide against
the effect of counter-currents.  To maintain the authority of their Great
Mightinesses over ecclesiastical matters is more than necessary for the
conservation of the country's welfare and of the true Christian religion.
As his Majesty would not allow this principle to be controverted in his
own realms, as his books clearly prove, so we trust that he will not find
it good that it should be controverted in our state as sure to lead to a
very disastrous and inequitable sequel."

And a few weeks later the Advocate and the whole party of toleration
found themselves, as is so apt to be the case, between two fires.  The
Catholics became as turbulent as the extreme Calvinists, and already
hopes were entertained by Spanish emissaries and spies that this rapidly
growing schism in the Reformed Church might be dexterously made use of to
bring the Provinces, when they should become fairly distracted, back to
the dominion of Spain.

"Our precise zealots in the Reformed religion, on the one side," wrote
Barneveld, "and the Jesuits on the other, are vigorously kindling the
fire of discord.  Keep a good lookout for the countermine which is now
working against the good advice of his Majesty for mutual toleration.
The publication of the letters was done without order, but I believe with
good intent, in the hope that the vehemence and exorbitance of some
precise Puritans in our State should thereby be checked.  That which is
now doing against us in printed libels is the work of the aforesaid
Puritans and a few Jesuits.  The pretence in those libels, that there are
other differences in the matter of doctrine, is mere fiction designed to
make trouble and confusion."

In the course of the autumn, Sir Ralph Winwood departed from the Hague,
to assume soon afterwards in England the position of secretary of state
for foreign affairs.  He did not take personal farewell of Barneveld, the
Advocate being absent in North Holland at the moment, and detained there
by indisposition.  The leave-taking was therefore by letter.  He had done
much to injure the cause which the Dutch statesman held vital to the
Republic, and in so doing he had faithfully carried out the instructions
of his master.  Now that James had written these conciliatory letters to
the States, recommending toleration, letters destined to be famous,
Barneveld was anxious that the retiring ambassador should foster the
spirit of moderation, which for a moment prevailed at the British court.
But he was not very hopeful in the matter.

"Mr. Winwood is doubtless over there now," he wrote to Caron.  "He has
promised in public and private to do all good offices.  The States-
General made him a present on his departure of the value of L4000.  I
fear nevertheless that he, especially in religious matters, will not do
the best offices.  For besides that he is himself very hard and precise,
those who in this country are hard and precise have made a dead set at
him, and tried to make him devoted to their cause, through many
fictitious and untruthful means."

The Advocate, as so often before, sent assurances to the King that "the
States-General, and especially the States of Holland, were resolved to
maintain the genuine Reformed religion, and oppose all novelties and
impurities conflicting with it," and the Ambassador was instructed to see
that the countermine, worked so industriously against his Majesty's
service and the honour and reputation of the Provinces, did not prove

"To let the good mob play the master," he said, "and to permit hypocrites
and traitors in the Flemish manner to get possession of the government of
the provinces and cities, and to cause upright patriots whose faith and
truth has so long been proved, to be abandoned, by the blessing of God,
shall never be accomplished.  Be of good heart, and cause these Flemish
tricks to be understood on every occasion, and let men know that we mean
to maintain, with unchanging constancy, the authority of the government,
the privileges and laws of the country, as well as the true Reformed

The statesman was more than ever anxious for moderate counsels in the
religious questions, for it was now more important than ever that there
should be concord in the Provinces, for the cause of Protestantism, and
with it the existence of the Republic, seemed in greater danger than at
any moment since the truce.  It appeared certain that the alliance
between France and Spain had been arranged, and that the Pope, Spain, the
Grand-duke of Tuscany, and their various adherents had organized a strong
combination, and were enrolling large armies to take the field in the
spring, against the Protestant League of the princes and electors in
Germany.  The great king was dead.  The Queen-Regent was in the hand of
Spain, or dreamed at least of an impossible neutrality, while the priest
who was one day to resume the part of Henry, and to hang upon the sword
of France the scales in which the opposing weights of Protestantism and
Catholicism in Europe were through so many awful years to be balanced,
was still an obscure bishop.

The premonitory signs of the great religious war in Germany were not to
be mistaken.  In truth, the great conflict had already opened in the
duchies, although few men as yet comprehended the full extent of that
movement.  The superficial imagined that questions of hereditary
succession, like those involved in the dispute, were easily to be settled
by statutes of descent, expounded by doctors of law, and sustained, if
needful, by a couple of comparatively bloodless campaigns.  Those who
looked more deeply into causes felt that the limitations of Imperial
authority, the ambition of a great republic, suddenly starting into
existence out of nothing, and the great issues of the religious
reformation, were matters not so easily arranged.  When the scene
shifted, as it was so soon to do, to the heart of Bohemia, when
Protestantism had taken the Holy Roman Empire by the beard in its
ancient palace, and thrown Imperial stadholders out of window, it would
be evident to the blindest that something serious was taking place.

Meantime Barneveld, ever watchful of passing events, knew that great
forces of Catholicism were marshalling in the south.  Three armies were
to take the field against Protestantism at the orders of Spain and the
Pope.  One at the door of the Republic, and directed especially against
the Netherlands, was to resume the campaign in the duchies, and to
prevent any aid going to Protestant Germany from Great Britain or from
Holland.  Another in the Upper Palatinate was to make the chief movement
against the Evangelical hosts.  A third in Austria was to keep down the
Protestant party in Bohemia, Hungary, Austria, Moravia, and Silesia.  To
sustain this movement, it was understood that all the troops then in
Italy were to be kept all the winter on a war footing.'

Was this a time for the great Protestant party in the Netherlands to tear
itself in pieces for a theological subtlety, about which good Christians
might differ without taking each other by the throat?

"I do not lightly believe or fear," said the Advocate, in communicating a
survey of European affairs at that moment to Carom "but present advices
from abroad make me apprehend dangers."


Aristocracy of God's elect
Determined to bring the very name of liberty into contempt
Disputing the eternal damnation of young children
Fate, free will, or absolute foreknowledge
Louis XIII.
No man can be neutral in civil contentions
No synod had a right to claim Netherlanders as slaves
Philip IV.
Priests shall control the state or the state govern the priests
Schism in the Church had become a public fact
That cynical commerce in human lives
The voice of slanderers
Theological hatred was in full blaze throughout the country
Theology and politics were one
To look down upon their inferior and lost fellow creatures
Whether dead infants were hopelessly damned
Whether repentance could effect salvation
Whose mutual hatred was now artfully inflamed by partisans
Work of the aforesaid Puritans and a few Jesuits

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of Holland : with a view of the primary causes and movements of the Thirty Years' War, 1609-14" ***

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