De Moor: Dedicatory Epistle for Volume 2

To the Most Serene and Lofty

PRINCE WILLIAM V

of Orange-Nassau,

Hereditary Governor of the Dutch Federation,

and the Military’s Supreme Commander

over Land and Sea,[1]

etc., etc., etc.



William V

MOST LOFTY AND SERENE PRINCE,


You will grant with no difficulty at all, MOST LOFTY PRINCE, that I receive with an exceedingly glad heart the extremely benevolent favor recently obtained from THEE, of dedicating to Thy Most Illustrious Name, what I, standing in awe, render, namely, this part of my commentaries concerning Theological matters. As a year and a half ago I approached the Illustrious Curators of the Academy of Batavia[2] with the beginnings of this work, by the authority of the Nobles of our Province made the Ephori[3] of our Muses, whom the supervision of the gift entrusted to us and of the diligence rendered in the managing of it touches most nearly: so even at that time also this thought was lurking in my mind, that an account also ought to have been rendered TO THEE, HIGHEST PRINCE, of my progress. Indeed, I regard it as my greatest honor, and shall keep it in my breast as long as I live, that by the kind commendation and powerful suffrage of THY MOST SERENE FATHER, A PRINCE OF IMMORTAL MEMORY,[4] nineteen year ago I was first called from ecclesiastical office, to which I was attending in Enkhuizen,[5] to ascend the Theological Chair in the alma Academy of Franker; and that, in the year immediately following, with the same MOST GLORIOUS PRINCE by no means disapproving, as one favoring my affairs, I yielded to a call to undertake the same office at the Academy of Batavia; who thereupon, according to his consummate benevolence and humanity, after receiving from me the inaugural Address, did not disdain with letters written to me, which I carefully preserve after the likeness of precious κειμηλίου/treasure, to congratulate me lavishly concerning my inauguration in the new office. THY FATHER, now CONSUMMATELY BLESSED, then with a glad company of those offering congratulations, it was permitted to me to approach, when for the first time the Assembly admitted the same to the Hague, two years later, for the purpose of taking vows of all good, when he was advanced to the Government of this and other regions of the Dutch Federation; I approached together with my younger brother Walter, whom after one year the SAME PRINCE ordered to be enrolled on perennial voucher of good will with the other Magistrates of our paternal city of Gouda: never afterwards, when it was needful, were the easy approaches and times of speaking to SUCH A PRINCE closed to me. And so, what to THY MOST SERENE FATHER, I, obliged to HIM on so many and such great accounts, if the fates had allowed HIM to survive, had believed to be my duty, that to THEE, MOST CELEBRATED WILLIAM, succeeding into HIS place by divine favor, I present eagerly and joyfully; and I exhibt to THY eyes a specimen of my efforts in illustrating the Theological Science, to which I was especially roused by the goads of THY GREAT FATHER; I submit it to THY judgment; and I commend it with due veneration to THY patronage. All the more, since thou testified that THINE heart was not averse to me, when some six years ago thou wast first willing to adorn our Academic lectures with THINE honorific presence, at which time by custom speeches were made to me, demitting the Academic magistracy; and thou dost leave no room for doubt, that the matters of our Academy are dear to THEE. And so receive THOU, MOST LOFTY PRINCE, with serene countenance and a benign hand, our little literary present, a poor gift indeed, as far as it pertains to the Commentary of the one presenting; but which will perhaps appear less disagreeable TO THEE, since it makes for the illustration of the Theologiæ Compendium, written some time ago by Johannes Marckius, a Man of immense erudition and of the greatest service to the Church and the three Academies, whom THY GREAT-GRANDFATHER OF MOST GLORIOUS MEMORY, HENRY CASIMIR,[6] together with HIS MOST SERENE MOTHER, ALBERTINE OF ORANGE,[7] first advanced to the Theological Chair at Franeker.[8] This Commentary will all the more approve itself unto THEE, MOST EXCELLENT PRINCE, if THOU hast regard to the argument treated. First, I, in fear and trembling, ascend to the awe-inspiring, Eternal Counsels of the Divine Good Pleasure concerning the final, eternally blessed or miserable, end of rational Creatures, to the extent that those are permitted to be examined by us out of the Revelation of the HIGHEST DEITY, and according to the same Revelation have been set forth by the Father of Dort of pious memory, under the auspices of THY PREDECESSOR, THE MOST GLORIOUS MAURICE:[9] with a holy knowledge of which I trust that THY soul has been imbued, in such a way that it is the sum of my prayers, that THY NAME also, O MOST EXCELLENT PRINCE, was written before the foundation of the world in the slain Lamb’s Book of Life in heaven.[10] From the very summit of eternity, I descend to the beginning of time and the commencement of all things, setting forth the Creation of all things ad narrated by Moses, in which to the stupefaction of every one rightly attending that GOD, who dwells in light inaccessible,[11] has most gloriously manifested, and caused to shine splendidly in every work of His hands, the vestiges of His might; in such a way that the astonished mind carried awy to the adoration and awe-inspiring fear of that Omnipotent and Thrice Highest Deity. Especially when we read that His throne is surrounded with an innumerable company of thronging Angels, who themselves, because of their consummate dignity and splendor, go by the name of thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers;[12] all whom, nevertheless, in the beginning of time, at the command of the Will of the Omnipotent GOD I teach to have been produced out of nothing. I pause to contemplate the provident hand of the same CREATOR in the care of all things, a care worthy of so great an author, the omnipotent Preservation of them, and the completely independent and altogether free, yet perfectly benign, Government of the same, to whom the greatest Kings, even the ignorant and unwilling, are bound to yield obedience; upon which will of the Judge of all the earth exaltation depends, not upon fortuitous rising or falling: of which Providence of the HIGHEST DEITY, altogether favorable to us, O GREATEST OF PRINCES, all good men received THY nativity with pious thanksgiving, and THY hereditary succession unto THY ancestral and illustrious Dignities, according to the Decree of the Consummately Powerful Orders, made not so long ago. That GOD, the almighty Creator, most provident Governor of all, I set forth as worthy of worship by all rational Beings in accordance with the Law prescribed by Himself, especially the Moral Law, which the greatest Princes, no less than the most vile men of the common people, are under and are bound to obey, and which I have attempted to explain with diligence and copiousness. Finally, I conclude with a delineation of Human Nature, to be imbued with the Knowledge and Worship of the HIGHEST DEITY out of His Word, especially with respect to the higher part, the rational Spirit with its Faculties intended for Union with the Body; which, furnished with so many extremely excellent qualities, the SUPREME CREATOR of things has benignly granted upon THEE, WILLIAM. I have chosen to dedicate my Commentary concerning these things to THEE, MOST SERENE PRINCE, with THY consent, dreading especially that the poverty of my writing might detract from the weight of the matters, and perhaps offend THEE. Nevertheless, I have been unwilling to neglect this occasion of publicly addressing THEE, that I, with all those fearing GOD and loving the fatherland, might heartily congratulate THEE, concerning THY most happy recovery from the grievous and dangerous disease wherewith THOU wast recently ill to THY former health; and concerning THY recent, indeed most recent, and most auspicious introduction into the illustrious Assembly of the Consummately Powerful Orders and of the Council of the Orders of the Confederated Netherlands, but also into the Nobility and Prepotency of Holland and West Friesland; wherein hope dawns for us, arriving soon, when THOU art actually going to enjoy and make use of the highest Honors appointed for THEE and gathered unto THEE in the Government of the Republic for the common good. Finally, lest I go overly long, to joyous congratulations, one may add pious Prayers for THY safety: May the MOST HIGH GOD favor THEE, MOST CHERISHED PRINCE, forever! May He preserve THEE safe and thriving in a lengthy series of years! May THE MOST HIGH TEACHER and MONARCH Himself, by whom Kings reign and Prince decree Justice,[13] mold and form THEE by His Spirit into such the kind of great Prince that our Fatherland requires, which sort the Church, devoted to the repair of sacred things, expects in THEE; who, being full of sincere veneration for the DEITY, mightest preserve intact the Religion that we publicly profess, no less than our civil Liberty, and who mightest exert THYSELF according to the form of that Religion to pursue eternal salvation by the merits of the one Savior! May our propitious GOD conduct THEE to take the government, and to hold it together with the Fathers of the Country! May He bless all THINE undertakings at home and abroad! May the HOUSE OF ORANGE and NASSAU long flourish in THEE and be enlarged from THEE in due time; so that it might happen to the Dutch, after THOU art tardily as possible enrolled among the heavenly inhabitants, to be glad and rejoice under the shadow of the tree of ORANGE unto the end of the ages! Thus he prays, most dutifully commending himself and his own to THEE, MOST SERENE PRINCE,



The most sincere and obedient

Supporter of Thy Highness,

BERNARDINUS DE MOOR


Given at LEIDEN,[14]

on the Ides of June,

1763.

[1] William V (1748-1806) was Prince of Orange, and the last stadtholder of the Dutch Republic. He presided over a series of political and military disasters, leading to his exile in Great Britain, and the dissolution of the Dutch Republic (1795). At the writing of this dedication (1763), William V was still in his minority. [2] Leiden University (Academia Lugduno Batava, in Latin) is the oldest university in the Netherlands, founded by William of Orange in 1575. [3] The Ephori were Spartan magistrates, exercising supervisory power over the king. [4] William IV (1711-1751) was Prince of Orange, and stadtholder of the Dutch Republic (1747-1751). [5] Enkhuizen is a city in the province of North Holland. [6] Henry Casimir II of Nassau-Dietz (1657-1696) was Stadtholder of Friesland and Groningen from 1664 to 1696. [7] Albertine Agnes of Nassau (1634-1696) was regent of Friesland and Groningen during the minority of her son, Henry Casimir II (1664-1679). She was the daughter of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. [8] Johannes Marckius was promoted to the Professorship of Theology at Franeker in 1675. [9] Maurice of Orange (1567-1625) was Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic (with the exception of the province of Friesland) from 1585 to 1625. [10] See Revelation 13:8; 21:27. [11] 1 Timothy 6:16. [12] Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; Colossians 1:16; 2:10, 15; 1 Peter 3:22. [13] Proverbs 8:15. [14] Leiden University (Academia Lugduno Batava, in Latin) is the oldest university in the Netherlands, founded by William I of Orange in 1575.

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