• Smalcius Valentine

    Smalcius Valentine


    Smalcius Valentine (Germ. Schmaltz,) was born at Gotha, one of the principal cities of Thuringia, March 12th, 1572. His father, Nicholas Schmaltz, (whence Valentine's assumed name of Theophilus Nicolaides,) was a person much respected by the citizens and Senators of Gotha, for his legal knowledge, and the honourable character which he bore, as a man of an enlarged and liberal mind. Valentine was the offspring of a second marriage, contracted by his father at the advanced age of eighty-two, or upwards ; and he was only three years old at the time of his father's death. He went to school till he was seventeen ; and excelled all his schoolfellows in the quickness of his apprehension, and the tenacity of his memory. His master, John Dinckel, who was afterwards appointed Court Preacher at Coburg, and chief Superintendent of the whole Duchy, was accustomed to tell him, while he was yet a boy, that he would be a second Luther. Dinckel was succeeded in his office as preceptor by John Helter, who is reported to have said of his pupil, that he would one day be the plague either of Church or State. Valentine conceived a great dislike for this man, and formed a very low estimate of his qualifications as an instructor. He contrasted very unfavourably with his predecessor ; and his mental inferiority was accompanied, as often happens, by an air of conceit, and a tone of dictation, which rendered him anything but a general favourite among his pupils.

    Even in his school-boy days, Valentine was accustomed to engage with eagerness in theological disputes ; and sometimes expressed himself so unguardedly, as to incur the suspicion of heresy. Not much relishing the mental restraints imposed upon him, he set out, in the summer of the year 1589, with one Valentine Brotkorp as his companion, for the city of Leipzic; and after staying there for a short time, proceeded, in the autumn, to Wittenberg, where he remained about a year and a quarter. In 1590, he returned home ; and, in the same year, paid a visit to his former master, Dinckel, at Coburg, supposing that he might be able, through his interest at Court, to procure some useful occupation. But being disappointed in the object of his visit to Coburg, he went to Jena ; and in the year following visited Strasburg, where he met with Andrew Voidovius, whom he had known by sight at Wittenberg, and who now talked much with him, and began to open his mind to him on religious subjects, at the same time shewing him a copy of Ochinus's "Dialogues." Smalcius promised to accompany Voidovius, and his pupil, Zachariah Krokier, into Poland ; but was prevented from undertaking the journey by illness. In 1592, he went a second time to Leipzic ; and, after remaining there a few weeks, set out on the 18th of September for Smigel, where Voidovius had appointed to meet him. But Voidovius, and his companion Ostorod, who were much employed about this time in missionary labours, not happening to be present when he arrived, he was kindly received and entertained for some days by Christopher Lubieniecius. On the return of Voidovius, the mastership of the School of Smigel was given to Smalcius,—an office which he retained, and the duties of which were satisfactorily discharged by him, till the year 1598.

    As soon as he was installed in this office, he devoted the whole powers of his mind to the investigation of truth ; and having given to the Unitarian controversy his most attentive consideration, he was admitted, by Baptism, as a member of the Socinian Church, on Christmas-day, 1592. His first care, after his settlement in Poland, was to provide a home for his mother. For this purpose, he undertook a journey to Gotha, on the 27th of December ; and returned with her in safety to the Brethren at Smigel, on the last day of January, 1593. Here she received a cordial welcome from the Lady Elizabeth de Zborow Dudithia,  whose three sons, Alexander, Daniel and Jerome, with several other noble youths, were immediately placed under Smalcius's tuition.

    In the month of April, 1593, he went again to Leipzic, intending to continue his journey as far as Gotha, for the purpose of taking his sister, Osanna, back with him; but he returned, on being told, by some merchants, who had come to the fair at Leipzic on business, that orders were issued for his apprehension and imprisonment, on the evening of the very day on which he had left Gotha with his mother.

    In the course of the same year, his correspondence with Faust Socin commenced. That eminent man saw at once his capacity for usefulness as a Christian Minister ; and enjoined him, by all means, to apply diligently to his theological studies, and not to let his youth pass away, as he himself had done, in idleness and sloth, at the same time telling him, that it was in his power to make no ordinary proficiency in a knowledge of divine things.

    On the 7th of March, 1594, he married Agnes Blechow, whose family name had been Wotowski, but was changed to Blechow, from an estate of her father's, bearing that name. About this time he exercised the office of Catechist, jointly with Voidovius, in the Church of Smigel ; and in the year 1598, he was ordained one of the Ministers of the Church at Lublin, at which place he arrived, accompanied by his wife and children, on the 14th of July in that year. Christopher Lubieniecius had just been appointed to succeed Martin Czechovicius in that city ; and had consented to undertake so onerous a charge, only on condition that he should have Smalcius as a colleague. Faust Socin, aware of the difficulties with which they would have to contend, wrote an encouraging letter to Lubieniecius on the 14th of August: and on the 31st of the same month, he addressed another to Smalcius, in which he says, "I am extremely glad, that the Brethren have deemed you worthy of being associated with Christopher Lubieniecius, in the government of the Church at Lublin. Your labour, particularly with such a colleague, will not be beyond your strength. If you can agree to act together, you will easily overcome every difficulty ; and especially those which make you most anxious. But you will have the greatest need of Christian patience and prudence, that you may not decline to become all things to all men, as the Apostle Paul says, in order that you may save some." (Bibl. Fratr. Polon. T. L p. 461.) Here it may be remarked, that Sandius, in his account of Smalcius, says, that he was first Rector of the School at Smigel, then Pastor at Racow, afterwards at Lublin, and then a second time at Racow. (Bibl. Ant. p. 99.) But Bock supposes Sandius to have been mistaken, in saying that he went as Pastor to Racow, before his settlement at Lublin. (Hist. Ant. T. I. P. ii. p. 840.) It seems probable, however, that a short time intervened between his resignation of the office of Rector of the School at Smigel, and his acceptance of that of Co-pastor with Christopher Lubieniecius at Lublin ; for though we find no record of the fact in his published Diary, the omission is probably owing to some mistake on the part of the transcriber, or printer. The autograph of this Diary came into the hands of Thomas Crenius, who lent it to Zeltner to copy ; and Zeltner added it, by way of Supplement, to his "Historia CryptoSocinismi." (T. I. pp. 1158—1218.) But there is evidently some confusion in this part of the printed copy ; for the preposition "Ad" is placed, as the catch-word, at the bottom of p. 1168, and the next page begins "24 Julii." It should also be borne in mind, that Socinus's letter, from which an extract is given above, was addressed to Smalcius " at Racow," on the presumption that he was at that place, when it was written (namely, Aug. 31st, 1598) ; although Smalcius himself states, that he set out for Lublin on the 3rd of the preceding month, and arrived there, with his wife and children, on the 14th of the same month.

    Soon after his settlement at Lublin, he was visited by Faust Socin ; and, in the course of conversation, allusion was made to the disinclination of the Lithuanian Pastors, to join in the Invocation of Christ. It appears, too, that he had been present at a Synod held at Novogrodek, when that subject was discussed, and the whole weight of the defence of that practice devolved upon him. "It was nothing new to me," says Socinus, in a letter addressed to him on the 24th of July, 1599, "to learn from your account, that those Lithuanian Pastors were found by no means free from ignorance on this subject. Yet I wonder at Licinius, a man in other respects learned, and well versed in theological writings and disputations, who, from the debate which you had with him, was beginning rightly to apprehend a subject, which had previously not been well considered by him." (Bibl. Fratr. Pol. T. I. p. 461.)

    In the month of June, 1600, Smalcius was sent again into Lithuania, with his colleague, Christopher Lubieniecius, and Christopher Rudnicius, Minister of Surasia, to a Synod convened at Novogrodek ; and he undertook a third mission of the same kind, at the close of the same year, for the purpose of bringing the dispute concerning the Invocation of Christ to a close. But Joseph Domanovius, the leader of the Budnaeans, declined attending the Conference each time ; and it was at length determined, after a protracted debate, that he should be excommunicated. All the rest, we are told, gave in their assent to the Socinian doctrine concerning prayer to Christ, when they had heard the arguments of Smalcius in its favour.

    In the year 1603, by a resolution of Synod, Smalcius visited the Churches about Dantzic, with a view to counteract the influence, which some zealots from England had been endeavouring to obtain over the minds of the Antitrinitarians in that vicinity ; and, in the year following, he undertook another mission into Lithuania, to settle a dispute which had arisen, on the subject of Baptism.

    When he had exercised the office of the ministry at Lublin about seven years, he removed with his family to Racow, Oct. 19th, 1605. This change had been determined upon at the Synod of Racow, in May, 1604; but at the entreaties of the Church at Lublin, he was allowed to remain there some time longer. After this, James Sieninius, Palatine of Podolia, was accustomed to call Smalcius his own Pastor. But the attention of this indefatigable labourer in the Lord's vineyard was by no means confined to the duties of the pastoral office. He was employed in visiting the Churches at a distance; in managing controversies with opponents ; and in devising means for bringing about a union, partly with the Mennonites, and partly with the Reformed, particularly at a Synod of the Reformed, held at Lublin, in 1612.

    Socinus had lived to see the several parties among the Unitarians joined together into one compact body ; and able to cope with any opponents, whether Catholic or Protestant, who might assail them in the fair and open field of religious controversy. The Jesuits saw and felt this ; and gave up all expectation of reestablishing the lost ascendancy of the Catholic Church, by fair and honourable means. They determined, therefore, to incite the lower orders of their own community to acts of violence against all reputed heretics; and the Lutherans were the first to suffer from the effects of this persecuting policy. In 1605, the Jesuit Piasecki, addressing his audience from the pulpit, said, "People of God! destroy and burn their Churches!" This advice the rabble were not slow to adopt. The Lutheran Church of Posnania, where the Jesuits had their College, was first attacked; then that of the Bohemian Brethren. Assassins were hired to take away the lives of Protestant Clergymen ; and in the year 1611, John Tyscovicius, (vide Art. 180,) a Unitarian of the town of Bielsk, was tried and executed, in violation of every principle of law and equity, for refusing to swear, on a public occasion, in the name of the Trinity. These enormities awakened the Unitarians to a sense of the danger, which threatened the Protestant interest under every form; and induced them to make overtures to the Mennonites and Evangelicals, for a union, which might serve to strengthen the hands of each party against the common enemy.

    It was thought, that the circumstance of the Mennonites holding the same opinion as many of the Antitrinitarians on the subject of the Baptism of adults, might be rendered instrumental in bringing about a union with that body; and a proposition to that effect was made at the Synod of Racow, in 1611. Smalcius and Moscorovius drew up the address to the Mennonites, and stated the terms of the proposed union ; and the negociation was entrusted to Goslavius and Christopher Lubieniecius. The Mennonites returned a written answer; but the Synod of Racow, in 1613, came to a resolution, that the project must be abandoned as impracticable.

    The proposal made by the Unitarians to the Reformed was, that neither party should abandon, or compromise its peculiar religious opinions ; but that they should agree to tolerate each other, and meet on terms of mutual peace and concord. But the Calvinistic, or Evangelical party, as they were generally called, declined the proposal, saying, that it was impossible to form any such friendly union, as long as the Unitarians retained their opinions respecting the Trinity, the Satisfaction of Christ, the mode of Justification, and Baptism. James Zaborowski, one of that party, afterwards published a work in the Polish language, entitled, "Ogien z Wodom," that is, Fire and Water. To this Smalcius wrote a reply, in which he undertook to shew, that, on all points strictly fundamental, there was no difference of opinion between the Socinians and the Evangelicals. But as the former could not consent to disown their dearest, and most cherished convictions, and as the latter insisted upon their doing so, as the only condition upon which they could agree to act with them, each of these religious bodies continued to pursue its own course; and by their divisions the Catholics gained strength, and ultimately triumphed over both. The Unitarians, foreseeing what would be the result of the disunion existing among the different sections of Protestants, did not abandon their favourite scheme of a union as hopeless. "This failure," says. Count Krasinski, "did not prevent the renewal of similar exertions at the meeting at Gorlice, near the frontiers of Hungary, which gave rise to the delusive hope that an act, impossible in its very nature, might be accomplished." Why this liberal and candid writer should regard the union, contemplated by the Socinians, as "an act impossible in its very nature," it is difficult to say ; for there was certainly no bar to such union, but the one interposed by the bigotry and narrow-mindedness of the Evangelical party. In the Remonstrant Church, all who profess themselves Christians, whatever their theological opinions, meet together on harmonious terms ; and any one who will compare the writings of their leading men,—Episcopius, Curcellaeus, Limborch, Le Clerc and Cattenburgh, — will soon be convinced, that they differ widely among themselves concerning some of the most important doctrines of Christianity. Charity, a good life, and an abhorrence of persecution, are their principal bonds of union; and why cannot other sincere and conscientious Christians consent to act together, if they will not worship together, upon the same principle ? But to return to the meeting at Gorlice. "The Socinians were chiefly represented on that occasion by Smalcius." Krasinski adds, "and Lombardus;" but Lombardus was the principal opponent of Smalcius, as we shall see by and by. (No. 48.) "After having decided on some preliminary arrangements, the meeting was transferred to Ozarow, and finally to Belzyce, where the Protestants had assembled a Synod. The Socinians sent thither their principal leaders, Moskorzewski, Suchodolski, Stoinski and Lubieniecki, who were met on the part of the Protestants chiefly by Krainski, Superintendent of the Churches of Little Poland, and a known ecclesiastical writer. The result was not, and could not be more favourable than that of previous meetings, and the discussions were soon interrupted by the warmth with which the Socinians, and Moskorzewski in particular, sought to impose their opinions on the opposite party. Since that time it does not appear that the subject was ever resumed, though in 1619 an attempt was made to conclude a political alliance against Romanist oppression. This was not attended with better success, notwithstanding that the insurmountable obstacles that rendered the conclusion of a dogmatical union impossible did not stand in the way of such a compact." (Historical Sketch, &c. Vol. II. Chap. xiv. pp. 378, 379.) Perhaps this is as fair a representation of the attempt to form an alliance between the Socinians, and their orthodox Protestant brethren in Poland, as we have any reason to expect from the pen of a Calvinistic Trinitarian ; although it must be obvious to any unprejudiced reader, that the only obstacle in the way of the proposed union, was the extraordinary demand made by the Calvinistic party, that the Unitarians, as a preliminary step, should cease to be Unitarians.

    The issue is well known ; and affords one of the most instructive warnings, recorded in the pages of history, of the evil consequences resulting from bigotry and exclusiveness. The Jesuits, seeing the elements of disunion already at work in the Protestant camp, and true to the instinct of their own order, had little else to do, than to look silently on, and wait till the two parties should so far weaken each other, as to render both a sure and easy prey. Nor had they to wait long. In the year 1658, the Unitarians were expelled from Poland, by an act of the Diet. The so-called Evangelical Protestants, instead of making an effort to prevent this, did all in their power to promote it ; and exulted in the thought, that they were about to witness the downfal of a formidable rival. But from that moment Protestantism itself became virtually extinct in Poland ; for in the year 1681, we find Charles II. granting a brief on behalf of the orthodox Polish Protestants, who were then exposed to the most cruel persecution, and were never afterwards able to defend their rights against Catholic encroachments. "These were they," as the author of " The Life of Mr. Thomas Firmin" most justly remarks, (pp. 25, 26,) "who had suffered the Unitarians to be banished about twenty years before, when it was in their power to have prevented it, if so much as one of their Deputies had protested against it in the Diet. They willingly permitted, nay they promoted the violation of the liberty of Dissenters not twenty years before ; and now, weakened by the loss of the whole Unitarian interest, it came to their own turns to be the sufferers: they had never lost either country, or liberty, if they had not voted themselves out of both, by their (former) votes against the Unitarians. A toleration or liberty of religion, once tapped, will soon run all out; for break it but in one instance, or party, and you have disannulled the whole reason of it, and all the pleas for it."

    The death of Smalcius, who had laboured more zealously, perhaps, than any of his contemporaries, to strengthen the Protestant interest in Poland, took place at Racow on the 8th of December, 1622. He had several children by his wife ; but they all died young. His eldest daughter, Christina, was married to John Grotkovius ; but she did not survive her father.

    As a writer, Valentine Smalcius is one of the most distinguished among the Polish Unitarians. His works are characterized by eloquence and perspicuity; but occasionally exhibit marks of hastiness of temper, from which, as Bock very truly observes, Socinus himself and his followers generally are free. He was greatly distinguished as a controversialist ; and was equal to Socinus in learning, acuteness, and argumentative power. Zeltner calls him "omnium clarissimus athleta." He was a most accomplished master of the arts of persuasion, as appears from the number of his converts ; but it has been insinuated, that he also employed these arts, for the purpose of ingratiating himself with the wealthy. Daniel Clementinus mentions, among other things, that he left property to the amount of twenty thousand florins, or £5000 sterling, the Polish florin being estimated at five shillings of our money. But Schlichtingius denies, that he ever had recourse to unfair, or unjustifiable means, either for the diffusion of his opinions, or the accumulation of wealth. His works are very numerous, and were printed at Racow. They are extremely scarce, few of them having come to second editions, and no collection of them having been inserted in the "Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum." The following is a brief account of them. 

    1. On the Divinity of Jesus Christ, by Valentine Smalcius, of Gotha, Minister of the Church of Racow. Typ. Seb. Sternacki, 1608, 4to. The author wrote this, while he presided over the School at Smigel ; and it was first published in German, at Racow, in 1593, 8vo. It is drawn up with extraordinary care; and holds a place in the first rank of Socinian writings. It was published in Polish, A. D. 1608, 4to.; and again in German, A. D. 1627, 8vo. The text of this German edition agrees more nearly with that of the Latin, than with the German original. Prefixed to the Latin version was a Dedication by John Sieninius, Palatine of Podolia, to Sigismund III. A Dutch translation of it, by Doerck Raphaels Camphuysen, appeared in 1623, 4to. An elaborate reply to it was published by Cloppenburg at Franeker in 1652, 4to.; and John Paul Felwinger published an examination of it, and of several other Unitarian writings at Altorf, in 1663, 8vo.

    2. A Letter to M. Guipert, Co-rector of the School at Gotha, written at Smigel in 1592.

    3. A Letter to a certain Saxon Divine, written March 15th, 1593.

    4. A short and simple Answer to a Book of Christopher Pelargus in Defence of the Triune God against the New Arians. This is a vindication of a treatise of Faust Socin, entitled, "On God, Christ and the Holy Spirit," which had been attacked by Pelargus in 1593.

    5. A Discourse delivered at Racow, May 19th, 1605, at the Funeral of Peter Statorius, Jun., and Christopher Brockayus, from John x. 21—28. Polon. MS.

    6. The Reproach of Peter Skarga by a Polish Noble: or Animadversions upon his Book, entitled, "The Reproach of the Arians." Racow, 1606, 4to. Polon.

    7. Against the Hutterians, or Moravian Communists, written at the request of Geo. Hoffmann, Citizen of Smigel. Racow, 1606. MS. Germ. Zwicker defended the Moravians against Smalcius. (Vide Art. 311, No. 46.)

    8. A Dissection or Analysis of the Words of the Lord Jesus, Matt, xxviii. 18. Racow, 1607, 4to. Polon. This Analysis contains the refutation of a Discourse, delivered by Peter Skarga, on Trinity Sunday, at Cracow, in 1604.

    9. A Book of Psalms and Hymns, used by the Polish Brethren in their Churches. Racow, 1610, 12mo.; 1625, 12mo. Polon. This compilation was made principally by Smalcius ; but the reader may refer also to the accounts of Stanislaus Lubieniecius, Jun., (Art. 324, No. 8,) John Preussius, (Art. 322, No. 2,) Samuel Przipcovius, (Art. 208, No. 34,) and John Statorius, or Stoinius (Art. 204, No. 9).

    10. The Dedication of Faust Socin's "Theological Lectures," inscribed to the University of Heidelberg. Racow, 1609.

    11. A Short Explanation of the Proem of John's Gospel. Racow, 1607, 4to.; 1613, 4to. Polon. A German translation of this little work appeared in 1611, 8vo. The author says, that Christ is called "the word," because he was the interpreter of the divine will, and became known by the word of God to the world ; that he is called "the Son of God," on account of his eminence and prerogatives, in comparison with other "Sons of God;" and "the onlybegotten," because God has loved and exalted no other in the same degree. By "the beginning," in which "the word was," he understands the beginning of the Gospel.

    12. Annotations upon the whole of the New Testament, except the Book of Revelation, begun to be written May 11th, 1612. MS. These Annotations filled three Quarto volumes. The manuscript came into the possession of John Hartigveld, of Rotterdam, from whose hands it passed into those of Samuel Crellius. Crellius parted with it to Jablonski, Professor of Theology in the University of Frankfort on the Oder. Smalcius was often urged to print these brief Annotations; and at a Synod held in 1620, he was enjoined to proceed with a full Commentary on Matthew's Gospel, and the other books of the New Testament, as soon as he should have committed his smaller Annotations to the press. At the Assembly of Kreutzberg, in 1663, a resolution was passed, authorizing the transmission of his Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, and the Epistle to the Galatians, to the Brethren in Holland, who had expressed a wish to see them. This was probably with a view to their being printed, as a continuation of the "Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum;" but for some reason, which does not appear, they were not inserted in that collection.

    13. A brief Defence of an anonymous "Treatise on the Church, and the Mission of Ministers," against the Reply of Andrew Miedzybosz, written five Years ago by Theophilus Nicolaides, and now published. Racow, 1612, 8vo. The anonymous author of the "Treatise on the Church" was Faust Socin. Smalcius's vindication, according to Reimannus, was no trifling performance, and well adapted to create confusion in the ranks of the Papists. The Defence of the "Treatise on the Church" is comprised in four, and that of "The Mission of Ministers" in two additional chapters, corresponding with the fifth and sixth of Miedzybosz. The style of this, and other controversial works of Smalcius, is bitter and sarcastic ; and in these respects his writings contrast unfavourably with those of Socinus, and other leading Unitarian authors, which may be the reason why they were not reprinted in the "Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum." In other respects they were well adapted to advance the cause of the Socinians, and fully entitled to a place in that collection.

    14. A brief Refutation of the Rev. Albert Borkowski's "Treatise concerning the Church, and the Mission of Ministers," in which he endeavours to rebut the Arguments of Socin and Theophilus, and to defend Miedzybosz : by the aforesaid Theophilus Nicolaides. March, 1614. Racow, Typ. Sternacki, 4to. Some have thought that this, and the preceding work, were written by Volkelius ; but they were both the undoubted productions of Smalcius. Miedzybosz and Borhowski were feigned names of Albert Rozciszewski, the Jesuit, who took the latter from his native town, Borkow, in Mazovia.

    15. A Paper which Smalcius drew up in Conjunction with Jerome Moscorovius, and which contained Proposals for a Union of the Polish Brethren with the Mennonites. April 21st, 1612. Polon.

    16. A Reply to a Book of Martin Smiglecius, the Jesuit, entitled, "Nova Monstra Novi Arianismi;" by Valentine Smalcius, of Gotha, Minister of the Church at Racow. 1613. Racow, Typ. Stern. 4to. This Reply was dedicated to the Senators of Thorn, Elbing and Dantzic. Bock acknowledges that Smalcius, though he had the wrong side to defend, had the advantage of Smiglecius in point of argument: yet Smiglecius, though conceited and domineering, was not an ill-informed Theologian. Some have thought, that he was born at Smigel ; and that he derived his name of Smiglecius from that place: but he was a native of Reuschlemberg.

    17. A Refutation by Valentine Smalcius of a Disputation concerning the Holy Spirit, held in the University of Jena, A. D. 1613, under the Presidency of Albert Graver, Doctor and Professor of Theology in that University. Racow, 1613, 4to. Reimannus admits, that, in this Refutation, Smalcius has made the worse appear the better cause.

    18. A Reply to a Writing of Herm. Ravensperg, Minister and Professor of Theology at Steinfurt, entitled, "Par unum Sophismatum Socinianorum ad Amussim Veritatis Examinatorum," &c, by Valentine Smalcius. Racow, Typ. Stern. 1614, 4to. Ravensperg professed to have vindicated John viii. 58, and x. 30, from the corruptions of the Socinians ; but had given umbrage to not a few of the orthodox, by the violence of his attack. The reply of Smalcius, however, was not distinguished for its moderation. Ravensperg published, in the course of the same year, a defence of himself, under the title, "Steinfurti Vindiciae SS. Trinitatis Mysterii;" to which Smalcius immediately replied in the work to be next mentioned.

    19. A Refutation of "Theses concerning the sacred Unity of the divine Essence, and a Trinity of Persons in that sacred Unity, proposed by James Schopper, Doctor and Primary Professor of Theology at Altorf, A. D. 1613;" to which is added a Reply to what Herm. Ravensperg has also adduced in a Paper, entitled, "The Sacred Mystery of the Unity of the divine Essence in a Trinity of Persons, &c," by Valentine Smalcius, Minister of the Church at Racow. 1614, 4to. Racow, Typ. Stern. A Dutch version of this appeared in 1664, 8vo.

    20. A Refutation of the Theses of Albert Graver, Doctor of Theology, and Public Professor in the University of Halle, in which he has endeavoured to vindicate the Incarnation of the Eternal Son of God from the Attacks of our Churches ; by Valentine Smalcius, of Gotha, Minister of the Church at Racow. 1615. Racow, Typ. Stern. 4to. The Theses of Graver were proposed in a disputation at Jena, in 1612 ; and his Vindication appeared at the same place in 1613, 4to.

    21. Refutation of a Work of Martin Smiglecius, the Jesuit, entitled, " The Word made Flesh:" by Valentine Smalcius. Racow, Typ. Stern. 1614, 4to. This Refutation is dedicated to James Sieninius, Palatine of Podolia, and is divided into twenty-eight Chapters, the subjects of which it would occupy too much room to specify in these pages. But they may be seen in Bock's "Historia Antitrinitariorum," T. I. P. ii. pp. 861, 862.

    22. Refutation of the Theses of Wolfgang Franzius, Doctor and Public Professor of Theology in the University of Wittenberg, which he proposed there for Disputation on the principal Points of Christian Doctrine, in the years 1609 and 1611 ; written by Valentine Smalcius, of Gotha, Minister of the Church at Racow, in Little Poland ; but published in 1614. Racow, Typ. Stern. 4to. This work is said to have been of such rarity in England, that Ashwell, in the Preface to his "Dissertation on Socin and Socinianism," published in 1680, tells us, that he could not procure a copy of it, though he made diligent inquiry. At that time, the Socinians had their emissaries, and secret adherents, in most of the Protestant Universities of Germany, who sought to make converts to their faith. These persons forwarded to Racow all works, published against their party by the Calvinists, as soon as they appeared, in order that some one might prepare a reply to them ; and about the time of which we are now speaking, it usually fell to the lot of Smalcius to do this. Franzius began to publish his "Disputations on the Augustan Confession," in 1609. In the preceding year, Smalcius had dedicated his German translation of the Racovian Catechism to the University of Wittenberg, which had given offence to that University, and excited the indignation of many. Franzius, therefore, in the work mentioned above, animadverted, with much learning and severity, upon it ; so that this may be regarded as the first attack made upon the Racovian Catechism. The first Part of his "Disputations" Racow, 1606. MS. Germ. Zwicker defended the Moravians against Smalcius. (Vide Art. 311, No. 46.)

    23. Notes on a small Work of Martin Smiglecius, which he calls " A Refutation of the vain Attempt to untie his Gordian Knot." A. D. 1614, Racow, Typ. Stern. 4to. (Vide Art. 144, Nos. 1, 2.) The Dedication is signed A. R., the initial letters of the name Andrew Reuchlin, which Smalcius took from his mother's maiden name, Catharine Meichin, and under which he wished to lie concealed. 

    24. Exhortation to Isaac Casaubon, occasioned by his Reply to the Letter of Cardinal Perron: by Andrew Reuchlin. A. S. 1614, 4to. The title-page contains no mention of the place where this "Exhortation" was printed ; but there is no doubt of its having issued from the press of Sternacki, at Racow. Conrad Vorstius's "Theological Treatise on God and his Attributes," printed at Steinfurt in 1610, was publicly burnt in England, in compliance with the advice and recommendation of Isaac Casaubon, in 1611, given in the aforesaid Letter, which was printed in 1612, both in a separate form, and in the Declaration of James I., King of England, addressed to the States-General of Holland, relating to the case of Vorstius. (Vide Art. 151.)

    25. Dedication of the Commentary of Faust Socin on 1 John, inscribed to the Senators of Strasburg. 1614, Nov. 20th. This Dedication was reprinted in the Works of Faust Socin, T. I. p. 155.

    26. An Examination of the Hundred Errors, which Martin Smiglecius, the Jesuit, has collected from the two Parts of our Book, lately published against his " Monstra:" by Valentine Smalcius. Racow, Typ. Stern. 1615, 4to. 

    27. Ten Homilies upon the Introduction of John's Gospel, delivered and written in the year 1605; to which is added a Paraphrase on that Introduction : by Valentine Smalcius. Racow, 1615, 4to. Typ. Stern. On this work Smalcius bestowed considerable labour. It was translated into Dutch by Doerck Raphaels Camphuysen.

    28. Refutation of the Orations of John Vogel and Joachim Peuschel, in which they make a boast of having renounced Photinianism at Altorf, during the present Year: by Valentine Smalcius. Racow, Typ. Stern. 1617, 4to. The names of Vogel and Peuschel must be familiar to every reader of Zeltner's "Historia Crypto-Socin. Altorf." These two young men had been led to embrace the Unitarian doctrine ; but were induced by the Divines of Altorf to return to the bosom of the Evangelical Church, and to make public recantations of their presumed errors, in the University of that city, which were printed at Nuremberg, in the year 1617. Zeltner has reprinted these recantations, in the above-mentioned work (pp. 890—933); to which he has subjoined the "Refutation" of them by Smalcius (pp. 938—997).

    29. On the true Christ, and natural Son of God, One Book, opposed to that which Martin Smiglecius, the Jesuit, has published under the same Title; and a Refutation of a Work of the same Smiglecius, which he has entitled, "On the Satisfaction of Christ for our Sins :" by Valentine Smalcius. Racow, Typ. Stern. 1616, 4to. This volume is dedicated to Christopher Sieniuta, Heir in Lachowice, &c.; whom Smalcius congratulates, on his accession to the Socinian cause. It is also preceded by a General, and a Special Preface. The former Part, "On the true Christ," is divided into fifteen Chapters, the subjects of which may be seen in Bock's "Hist. Ant." T. I. P. ii. pp. 873, 874. The latter, "On the Satisfaction of Christ," is divided into twelve Chapters, the subjects of which are also given by Bock (pp. 874, 875).

    30. Refutation of a Disputation concerning the Person of Christ, which Albert Graver, Doctor of Theology, and Public Professor in the University of Jena, held there, A. D. 1612: by Valentine Smalcius. Racow, Typ. Stern. 1615, 4to.

    31. Refutation of two Books of Martin Smiglecius, the Jesuit, which he has entitled, "De Erroribus Novorum Arianorum:" by Valentine Smalcius. Racow, Typ. Stern. 1616, 4to. This work is dedicated to the brothers Martin Czaplic Szpanowski, Lord of Hluponin, and George Czaplic Szpanowski, Lord of Kissielin. It is divided into two Books, of which the former consists of eighteen, and the latter of seventeen Chapters. The titles of these Chapters are all given by Bock (pp. 876—878) ; but it would occupy too much space to transfer them to these pages.

    32. An Examination of the hundred and fifty-seven remaining Errors, which Martin Smiglecius, the Jesuit, has collected from the other two Parts of our Book, lately published, against the "Monsters" feigned by himself; together with a Refutation of what he has advanced in his Examination of the hundred former Errors : by Valentine Smalcius. 1616, 4to. This is a different work from the one mentioned under No. 26, with which John Fabricius has confounded it.

    33. A Reply to a Book of James Zaborowski's, entitled, "Fire and Water." Racow, 1619, 4to. This Reply is dedicated to Romanus de Hoszczo Hoscky ; and relates to the union proposed to be formed between the Socinian and Evangelical parties. The object of Smalcius is to shew, that in fundamentals there is no difference between the two parties ; and that a friendly union between them is necessary, and will be productive of much advantage to the Evangelical party. 

    34. An Answer to two Pasquinades, lately published by the Evangelicals against those, who are unjustly called Avians; by an Elder of the Church, against which those Pasquinades were written. Racow, 1619, 4to. Polon. On the subject of the Trinity Smalcius says, "It is manifestly at variance with our opinion, that no mention should be made of the Holy Trinity, as far as by this is meant, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For we were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit ; and are firmly persuaded, that no man can be a follower of Christ, and be saved, without being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." He further says, "We therefore recommend and advise no man, to wish to free himself from a confession of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit ; for we ourselves are firmly resolved, by God's help, to remain steadfast in this confession to our latest breath."

    35. The New Testament in the Polish Language. Racow, 1606, 8vo. That Smalcius assisted in the correction of this version, we learn from his own Diary, (p. 1181,) where he says, "On the 19th of February, 1606, Moscorovius,  Licinius and I met, to correct the Polish version of the New Testament ; and after some weeks, by the divine blessing, happily finished it."

    36. The New Testament in the German Language. Racow, 1630, 8vo. That Smalcius was employed in forming this version is evident from the allusions made to it in the Synodical Acts.

    37. Against a Posthumous Work of Peter Skarga's, entitled, " The Messiah of the Arians, according to the Turkish Koran." Racow, 1615, 4to. Polon.  

    38. A fuller and most accurate Explanation of the last three Chapters of Matthew. MS.

    39. An Analysis and Explanation of John xvii. MS.

    40. An Analysis of 1 Cor. MS.

    41. A Sermon on Matthew xvi. 21—28. MS.

    42. Various other Sermons. MSS.

    43. A Narrative of the Proceedings of the Synod of Novogrodek, relating to the Controversy concerning the Invocation of Christ. MS.

    44. An Autograph Diary of Smalcius's own Life, which Zeltner has appended to his " Historia Crypto-Socin. Altorf." (pp. 1158—1218); and which throws great light upon the history of Socinianism in Poland, and the neighing countries, from the year 1572 to 1622.

    45. Adversaria: principally historical. MS. Lubieniecius mentions these "Adversaria," in his " Hist. Ref. Pol." (L. iii. C. xi. p. 228) ; and from his notice of them, we find that they were different from Smalcius's Diary. Bock made very minute inquiries after this Common-place Book of Smalcius's, from Samuel and Paul Crellius ; but was unable to learn into whose hands it fell, or what ultimately became of it.

    46. Acta Racoviensia ; or a History of the two Conferences held at Racow, March 7th, 1601, and Oct. 7—19th, 1602, at twenty-two Sittings. MS. Sandius mentions these "Conferences," (B. A. pp. 174, 175,) and gives the names of the Ministers, Elders and Brethren, who attended them. Of the Conversations held in Smalcius's own house, an account was written by Matthew Radecius. (Vide Art. 102, No. 8.) These Conversations, or Theological Exercises, were begun on the 7th of January, 1606 ; they were interrupted, by the civil commotions in the Kingdom of Poland, from the 22nd of February to the 28th of November, 1607 ; and the last of them was held on the 3rd of January, 1609.

    47. A Letter to Conrad Vorstius, written at Racow, January 26th, 1614, inviting him to join the Polish Socinians. This Letter, together with Vorstius's Reply, declining the invitation, is inserted in "Letters Ecclesiastical and Theological of Excellent and Learned Men. Amst. 1660" (p. 414). They are also printed in "Letters of the Remonstrants, 1704," 4to. (N. 120, 121).

    48. A Conference held at Gorlice, A. D. 1617, with Peter Lombard, Minister of the Reformed Church at Gorlice. This "Conference" is mentioned by Daniel Clementinus, (Antapologia, p. 387,) and Smalcius thus describes it in his Diary. "On the 12th of May a Conference was held between us and the Evangelicals at Gorlice in the submontane country, not far from the confines of Hungary ; Peter Lombard, (so called by his master, Christopher Krainski,) and I being the collocutors. There was a larger attendance of our people than of the Evangelicals. The chief of our party present were Messrs. Moscorovius, Starost of Philipovia ; Morstinius ; Stanislaus Lubieniecius ; Rupnovius, and not a few others. On the part of the Evangelicals there were about twenty Nobles, but no one of eminence; four Ministers, besides the aforesaid Peter ; the two Elders, Stancarus and Plachta ; and one Procopius, Chaplain of Mr. Mecinius. The Conference went off most happily—. It lasted six hours." (P. 1207.)

    49. A Funeral Discourse to the Memory of Mr. John Glinski, from John v. 25, delivered at Racow, A.D. 1620.

    50. A Translation from Italian into Latin of Faust Socin's "Short Discourse on the Causes of a Belief or Disbelief of the Gospel." Racow, 1614, 8vo. (VideSocini Opp. T. II. pp. 455—457.)

    51. The Polemical Writings of Smalcius, in his Controversies with Smiglecius, Graver, and others. Racow, 1614, 4to. Bock had never seen this collection of the controversial works of Smalcius ; and thinks it probable that it was not a reprint, but consisted of the polemical writings of Smalcius separately published, sets of which were collected, and bound up together in four volumes, with a new general title-page.

    52. The Racovian Catechism. 1605, 12mo. Polon. Of this work Smalcius was one of the joint editors. The first notice which we find of his connexion with this Catechism is in his own Diary, April 25th, 1605, where he says, "Ccepimus Catechesin componere, Ego, Statorius, Moscorovius et Volkelius." (Zeltneri Hist. Crypto-Socin. Altorf. Suppl. p. 1179.) If what Sandius says may be relied on, the labour rested principally with Smalcius and Moscorovius ; for that writer makes no allusion to Volkelius, in connexion with the preparation of this work for the press ; and of Statorius he merely says, that he and Faust Socin had previously laboured upon it. (B. A. pp. 78,100.) The Statorius here meant is Peter Statorius, Junior ; and the reason why nothing further is said of him, in connexion with the authorship, or editorship of this Catechism, is, that he died about a fortnight after the preceding entry was made in Smalcius's Diary. His death, indeed, is the very next event recorded. Perhaps it may admit of some doubt, whether the expression "Catechesin componere" implies the framing of an entirely new and original work, or the arranging and preparing for publication of previously existing materials. If the latter be its meaning, there may be an allusion to the materials collected by Faust Socin and Peter Statorius, of which something has been already said in the account of George Schomann. As Statorius, after being associated with Faust Socin, in the preparation of this Catechism, not six months before Socinus's death, was engaged in a similar undertaking with Smalcius and others about a year after that event, it seems natural to infer, that the Catechism published by Smalcius and Moscorovius was substantially the same as that, upon which Socin and Statorius had previously laboured. Smalcius translated this Catechism from the Polish into the German, and published it in 1608, 12mo., under the following title. "Der Kleine Catechismus, zur Uebung der Kinder in dem Christlichen Gottesdienste." It was this version, which he dedicated to the University of Wittenberg, and upon which Wolfgang Franzius animadverted with so much severity, in his "Disputationes super Augustanam Confessionem, 1609—1611." The following

    Brief Abstract of the Racovian Catechism,  

    expressed for the most part in the words of Dr. T. Rees's translation, will form no unsuitable close to the present article.

    i. The Christian Religion is to be learned from the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament ; but especially from the latter. These Scriptures are authentic and credible, and are of themselves sufficient; so that, in all things necessary to salvation, they alone are to be depended upon. These things are so plainly declared in many passages, that every one, who earnestly seeks after truth and piety, and implores the divine assistance, may understand them.

    ii. Man is obnoxious to death, and could not of himself discover a way to avoid it, and one which should infallibly lead to immortality. The way of salvation, therefore, has been discovered to him by God ; and consists in the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ, whom he has sent.

    iii. The knowledge of God consists in an acquaintance with his nature, and his will. We must know that God exists; that he is one only; that he is eternal ; and that he is perfectly just, wise and powerful. Again, we must know that he possesses an uncontrolled freedom of will ; that he is omnipresent, infinitely good, and infinitely happy.

    In the one essence of God, there is but one person; and this one divine person is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The essence of God is spiritual, and invisible.

    By the will of God is not meant that faculty of willing which is naturally inherent in the Deity, but the effect of that faculty, particularly as regards those things which pertain to the Christian Religion, some of which were known before the coming of Christ, while others were revealed by him.

    iv. The particulars concerning Jesus Christ, which the Christian ought to know, relate partly to his person, or nature ; and partly to his offices.

    He was by nature truly a man, but not a mere, or common man ; because, even from his earliest origin, he was the only-begotten Son of God ; because he was sanctified, and sent into the world by the Father ; because he was raised from the dead by God, and thus, as it were, begotten a second time ; and because, by his dominion, and supreme authority over all things, he is made to resemble, or equal God. But there is not in Christ a divine, as well as a human nature, or substance, although the Holy Spirit, which dwelt in him, was united, by an indissoluble bond, to his human nature. The Scriptures do not really ascribe to him eternal existence; or the names and works, which belong exclusively to the One God.

    v. The offices of Christ consist in his being a Prophet, or the Mediator of the New Covenant; our High-priest; and our King.

    His PROPHETIC OFFICE consists in his perfectly manifesting to us, confirming, and establishing the hidden will of God ; and this will is contained in the New Covenant, which God has made with the human race through Jesus Christ, the Mediator. It comprises both the perfect precepts, and the perfect promises of God, together with the mode whereby, and the ground upon which we ought to conform to these precepts and promises.

    1. The perfect Precepts of God, comprised in the New Covenant, are in part included in the commands delivered by Moses, together with those which were added to them by Christ, and his Apostles; and in part contained in those, which were delivered exclusively by Christ and his Apostles.

    The former comprehend all the moral precepts of the law, as enlarged by Christ, which are of two kinds, some general, and some particular, whereby the general are explained ; and which are comprised in the Decalogue. Among other additions made to the First Commandment, we are required to acknowledge the Lord Jesus himself as one, who has divine authority over us, and in that sense as God ; and are bound, moreover, to put our trust in him, and pay him divine honour. The other Commandments also have been enlarged and modified by Christ, and his Apostles.

    2. The Commandments, which Christ has delivered separately from those of the law, are of two kinds ; namely, those which relate to morals, and those which relate to external religious acts, or ceremonies.

    The former relate, first, to religion, or mental devotion; secondly, to contempt of the world; and thirdly, to fortitude and patience.

    3. The external religious acts, or sacred rites, always observed in the Church of Christ, are baptism, and the breaking of the sacred bread. Baptism is a rite of initiation ; and adults only are the proper subjects of it. Men are not regenerated by this rite.

    4. The breaking of bread is an institution of the Lord Christ, that believers in him should break and eat bread, and drink of a cup together, with the view of commemorating him, or of shewing forth his death ; which institution ought to continue to his coming. There is no stronger reason, why the Lord Jesus instituted this ordinance.

    5. The greatest of all the Promises made by Christ is that of eternal life, in which are comprehended the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    By "the remission of sins" is meant, a free deliverance from the guilt and penalties of sins; of which penalties some are temporal, and some eternal. Nor is the promise restricted; for the remission of all sins is promised to us through Christ.

    6. The Holy Spirit is not a person of the Godhead, but a virtue, or energy, flowing from God to men, and communicated to them ; whereby he separates them from others, and consecrates them to his service. It is promised to all believers in perpetuity.

    7. Jesus has confirmed the divine will by the perfect innocence of his life; by his great, and innumerable miracles ; and by his death.

    8. His death was preceded by various afflictions; and it was necessary, that he should suffer these afflictions, and undergo so cruel a death, first, because, by the divine will and purpose, he suffered for our sins, and underwent a bloody death, as an expiatory sacrifice ; and secondly, because those, who are to be saved by him, are, for the most part, obnoxious to the same afflictions and death. But in the business of our salvation, more depends upon the resurrection, than upon the death of Christ. Christ did not die, in order, properly speaking, to purchase our salvation ; and literally to pay the debt of our sins. The common notion on this subject is false, erroneous, and exceedingly pernicious. Not only are the Scriptures silent concerning any such purpose of Christ's death; but it is repugnant alike to them, and to right reason. Besides, it opens a door to licentiousness ; or, at least, invites men to indolence in the practice of piety.

    9. The way and manner, in which we are to conform both to the Precepts and Promises of God, is by Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, which is of two kinds ; meaning sometimes, the faith, which, unless something be added to it, is not attended with salvation ; and sometimes, the faith, which is of itself followed by salvation- The latter includes Obedience, as well as Trust.

    10. It is in our power to do the will of God, when strengthened by the divine aid, and by that filial spirit, with which, under the Gospel, we are endued, as adopted sons of God.

    Adam was so created by God, as to be endowed with free will, which he did not lose by his fall; and it is certain, however we may define Original Sin, that the fall of Adam, as it was but one act, could not have power to deprave his own nature, much less that of his posterity.

    Those who deny the freedom of the human will, do so, because they erroneously infer, from certain testimonies of Scripture, that it does not exist, in consequence of the Predestination and Election of God ; or that it is expressly taken away, either from men in general, or from certain persons in particular.

    11. The Justification, which we obtain by faith, is, when God regards us as just, or so deals with us, as if we were altogether just, or innocent; which he does in the New Covenant, in the forgiveness of our sins, and in conferring upon us eternal life. None can be so justified, without faith in Christ. But this must be understood of the time after Christ had appeared ; for though all, who have at any time believed in God, were justified through faith, yet they were not justified by faith in Christ, but simply by faith in God.

    vi. The PRIESTLY OFFICE of Christ consists in this —that he not only offered up prayers and supplications to God, for himself and for us, while he dwelt on earth; but also sanctified himself, and gave himself as an offering for us, shedding his own blood for our sins: and thus, after being restored to life by God, and made immortal, he has, by his own blood, entered the holy, celestial place, and offered himself to God, appearing for ever in his presence, and interceding for us ; by which one offering of his, he obtained, for all who believe in him, eternal redemption, and deliverance from their sins. These things are spoken of Christ by way of comparison, and likeness with the legal priesthood; but though the offering of Christ is so denominated by way of similitude, it has nevertheless a real, and a far more perfect sense, than sacrifices and offerings properly so called.

    vii. The KINGLY OFFICE of Christ is to be considered in two points of view: first, as it respects his kingdom ; and secondly, as it relates to his people, or subjects.

    God having raised him from the dead, and taken him up to heaven, has placed him at his right hand ; having given him all power in heaven, and on earth, that he might, at his own pleasure, govern, protect, and eternally save those who believe in him.

    viii. The people, or subjects of Christ, are the Church, or society of Christians ; which is either visible, or invisible.

    1. The Visible Church is a society of such men as hold and profess saving doctrine; which society may be considered in general, and in particular:—In general, when all the visible societies of Christ, dispersed over the whole world, are considered as one society, or Church;—In particular, when every single society, existing in certain places, is taken for a Church of Christ.

    2. The order prescribed to the Visible Church of Christ, is comprised in the offices of the persons, of whom the Church of Christ is composed; and in diligent watchfulness, and care, that every person discharges his own duties. It is the duty of some to govern, and of some to obey.

    Those who govern are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers, Pastors or Bishops, Elders and Deacons. Apostles and Prophets are no longer to be found in the Church of Christ. The reason why they were chosen, sent, and given by God, no longer exists ; whence they are called, by Paul, the foundation of the Church of Christ. Evangelists also have ceased ; for they were chosen, together with the Apostles, for the promulgation of a new doctrine, which is now very old. The other offices continue, because the reasons of their appointment continue.

    The duty of hearers, and of the young members of the Church of Christ, is to obey those who govern, in all things commanded by God ; to communicate to those who teach in all good things; to count them worthy of double honour ; and to receive no accusation against them, or against each other, but before two or three witnesses.

    3. The way, in which the offices above mentioned are discharged, relates in part to all, but chiefly to those who rule. The unruly are to be corrected, either privately, or publicly: privately, as Christ directs, Matt, xviii. 15, 16 ; publicly, either by words or deeds.

    4. The Invisible Church of Christ consists of those, who truly confide in Christ, and obey him; and are, therefore, in the most perfect sense, his body. An assembly, or congregation of such men, we shall never see, but at the coming of Christ. At present it can only be conceived by the mind.


    (Vidend. Valent. Smalcii Diarium, apud Zettneri Hist. Crypto-Socin. Altorf. Supplem. pp. 1158—1218. Sandii B. A. pp. 99—105. Bock, Hist. Ant. T. I. pp. 836—888. And. Wissowatii Narratio Compend. pp. 214, 215. Zeltneri Hist. Crypto-Soc. Alt. pp. 338 — 345. 938. Bibl. Fratr. Polon. T. I . pp. 459—468. Cloppenb. Opera Theolog. T. II. p. 509. Rees's Bacovian Catechism, passim, Hist. Introd. pp. lxxviii—lxxxi. KrasinskCs Hist. Sketch of the Reform, in Poland, Vol. II. Chap. xiv. pp. 369—371. 378—380, etc.)


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