• Curcellaeus Stephen

    Curcellaeus Stephen


    Curcellaeus Stephen, (Gal. Courcelles,) was born at Geneva, May 2nd, 1586, and died at Amsterdam, May 22nd, 1658. He was first a Preacher among the French Protestants, and afterwards Professor of Theology in the Remonstrant College at Amsterdam, in which office he succeeded the celebrated Episcopius. He composed many works on theological subjects, which were collected, and published in the year 1675, under the superintendence of Philip a Limborch. Sandius has been blamed for mentioning Curcellaeus in conjunction with Antitrinitarian writers, and representing his sentiments as Unitarian ; and Jonathan Edwards, in his "Preservative against Socinianism," (p. 11,) has endeavoured to shew, that he believed in the doctrine of the Trinity. But the tenor of his correspondence with Ruarus leads to the opposite conclusion ; and John Gottl. Moller, in his Dissertation "De Stephano Curcellaeo, in Editione originalis N. T. Textus, etc. Socinizante," (C. i. § 19, p. 19,) maintains it to have been the opinion of Curcellaeus, that all Christian sects, not excepting the Unitarians, agree in fundamentals ; and that his edition of the New Testament is favourable to Socinianism. Bock also says, that too great an affection for Socinianism misled him ; that he defended the frigid conceptions of the Socinians concerning God and Christ ; and that, in the opinion of Weissmann, it was doubtful, whether any Schlichtingius, or Ruarus, had a much worse Theology than Curcellaeus. When, in addition to these strong presumptions, it is remembered, that Curcellaeus, in writing to Ruarus about John Stoinius, adopts the nomenclature of the Crypto-Socinians of Altorf, no rational doubt can remain, that he ought to be ranked among Antitrinitarians. Sandius gives the following Catalogue of his works.

    1. Advis d'un Personnage desinteresse, &c. In this work, published in 1638, Curcellaeus acts the part, as it were, of a mediator between Moses Amyraut and Peter du Moulin, in their dispute about Predestination.

    2. A Vindication of the Sentiments of Arminius on the Right of God over his innocent Creatures, against Moses Amyraut, Professor of Theology at Saumur. Amst. 1645, Blaeu.

    3. Preface to the first Volume of the Works of Simon Episcopius. Amst. 1650, Fol.

    4. An Edition of the Greek Translation of Comenius's "Janua Linguarum." Sandius and Moreri both speak of this translation as the work of Curcellaeus: but this is a mistake. The Greek version was made by Theodore Simonis, under the superintendence, and at the expense of the Polish Unitarians; and published at Amsterdam in 1642. An improved edition of it was prepared by Curcellaeus, and published at the same place in 1644 ; and in this amended form it has often been since reprinted.

    5. A Letter to Samuel Sorbiere on the Abuses or Errors of the Church of Rome. This Letter, which is in French, was written at Amsterdam, Dec. 24th, 1655, and published in 8vo., without any specification of time or place Subjoined to it is a letter addressed by Sorbiere to Pope Alexander VII.

    6. A Letter to Adrian Paet, Advocate, of Rotterdam, on the Superstitions of the Romish Church ; written at Amsterdam in 1656, and published along with the preceding Letter in 8vo. This Letter, which is in French, was translated into Latin, and inserted in Curcellaeus's Theological Works.

    7. An Edition of the New Testament, in Greek, with Various Readings, collected both from Manuscripts and printed Editions. Amst. 1658, 12mo., and 1675, 12mo. Elzev.

    8. A Defence of the Ecclesiastical History of David Blondel, Professor in the Athenaeum at Amsterdam, against the Charges of Maresius. Amst. 1657, Blaeu. This Defence was prefixed, in lieu of a Preface, to Blondel's Dissertation, in which he shews, that the well-known story about Pope Joan ought to be rejected as a fiction.

    9. A Diatribe on the eating of Blood among Christians. Amst, 1659. This was translated into Dutch, and published in 12mo.

    10. A Quaternion of Theological Dissertations against Samuel Maresius, treating upon the following Subjects, i. On the Words Trinity, Hypostatis, Person, Essence, Consubstantial, and the like ; with an Appendix on the Sense in which the Ancients said that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God, and taught that they are of the same Substance. This is followed by a letter of James Arminius to J. Uitenbogaerdt, written Feb. 18th, 1599, in which he discusses the question, Whether Jesus Christ may properly be called God of himself, ii. On Original Sin. iii. On the Necessity of a Knowledge of Christ to Salvation, iv. On the Justification of Man by Faith and Works. Subjoined is the Judgment of a learned anonymous Writer, [Daniel Zwicker,] on Maresius's "Pope Joan restored." Amst. 1659, 8vo. This work, as the date shews, was posthumous.

    11. A Letter to Martin Ruarus, written Oct. 9th, 1641, on the Racovian Books burnt at Leeuwarden.

    12. Another Letter to Ruarus, dated Feb. 8th, 1642, in which the writer laments, that a similar burning of books has taken place at Amsterdam.

    13. A third Letter to Ruarus on the reparation made for that act by the newly elected Magistrates. Amst. April 12th, 1642. These three Letters were printed in the first Century of Ruarus's Select Epistles. Amst. 1677, 8vo.

    14. A Treatise on Predestination in French. A manuscript copy of this was preserved by Curcellaeus's unmarried daughter, Mary.

    15. An Introduction to Chronology. MS.

    16. Brief Notes on F. Burgersdicius's Metaphysics, extending to Chap, xxiii. § 4.

    17. Encomium on Astronomy and Geography. MS.

    18. Theological Works of S. Curcellaeus. Amst. 1675, Fol. Cura Limborch. This volume contains, in addition to Curcellaeus's "Inst. Relig. Christianae" in seven books, A Treatise on the Church of Jesus Christ. Both were left in an unfinished state by their author. To these were added, A Diatribe on 1 Tim. iii. 14, 15; Nos. 2, 3, 9, 10; An Ethical Synopsis ; and Letters to Grotius, Peter Cupus, Phil, a Limborch, Christian Hartsceker, and Adrian Paet, which had been previously published in "Letters Ecclesiastical and Theological of celebrated Men." Amst. 1660.—Five Books of the "Inst. Rel. Christ." were translated into Dutch by Q. V., and printed at Leyden in 1678, 4to. The rest of the Theological Works of Curcellaeus in Dutch, with the exception of No. 10, were in the press in 1684, when Sandius published his "Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum."

    (Vidend. SandiiB. A. pp. 109—112. Moreri, Diet Hist Art. Coukcelles. Bock, Hist Ant. T. I. p. 217; T. JL pp. 141—143. Ruari Epist Cent i. N. 85—88.)


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