• Statorius Peter


    Statorius Peter


    Statorius Peter of Thionville, in Lorraine, was the head of a family, of whom several obtained considerable distinction among the Socinians. Three were particularly celebrated, namely, Peter the father, Peter the son, and John the grandson. In Poland, where Peter Statorius the elder was naturalized by the Diet as a Noble, he took the name of Stoienski, or Stoinski, which, in its Latinized form, is written Stoinius.

    Peter Statorius, Senior, in his youth, was a disciple of Beza, who says that he was corrupted by Blandrata, while a student at Geneva. In the Preface to his account of Valentine Gentilis, Beza calls Statorius a young man of good disposition, and no despicable attainments, but one who devoted himself wholly to the specious fictions of Blandrata. Subjoined to Caspar Heltus's "Confession respecting the Mediator," &c, which was printed at Wittenberg, in 1555, 8vo., is An Ode on Jesus Christ, the Mediator between God the Father and Men, by Peter Statorius. The verse is of the mixed kind, known by the name of dicolos tetrastrophos ; and the doctrine, as far as can be collected from the specimens given by Bock, (Hist. Ant. T. I. P. ii. pp. 912, 913,) perfectly orthodox.

    In the year 1559, Statorius went into Poland ; and in the course of that year, the above mentioned "Confession," with his Ode, was reprinted at Pinczow. He succeeded Orsacius in the Rectorship of the School of Pinczow, where, in the month of January, 1560, he delivered a funeral oration on John a Lasco, who was interred with great pomp in the Church of that place. This oration was published during the same year at Pinczow, and dedicated to Francis Lismaninus.

    At this time, Statorius had already begun to shew signs of the heterodox tendency of his opinions. Wengerscius speaks of a feigned Confession, which he exhibited at the Synod of Pinczow, in 1559 ; and Paul Gilowski said of him, at the Synod of Sandomir, "whatever evil is now silently working its way in Poland, Statorius is the prime mover of it." His opinions on the subject of the Trinity were probably not sound, or in other words, they did not come up to the true Athanasian standard, when he attended the Synod at Pinczow, in 1559. In the Confession above alluded to, he says, "Propheticam et Apostolicam doctrinam, quae veram Dei Patris, Filii et Spiritus Sancti cognitionem continet, amplector et veneror, parique religione, Deum Patrem, Filium, ac S. Spiritum, distincte secundum sacrarum literarum veritatem colendum, implorandumque precibus, libere profiteor: denique omnem haereticam de Deo Patre, Filio, et Spiritu Sancto blasphemiam, plane detestor, sive Ariana ilia, sive Servetiana, Eunomiana, Stancarianafuerit." Here he professes to embrace and venerate the prophetic and apostolic doctrine, which, as he says, contains the true knowledge of God the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit ; and in the same religious manner, he freely professes, that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,are to be separately worshiped, according to the truth of the sacred Scriptures ; and finally, that he openly detests all heretical blasphemy concerning God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whether it be Arian, or Servetian, or Eunomian, or Stancarian. That this Confession is drawn up with remarkable caution is evident ; but that any well-informed Trinitarian could be misled by it, so as to regard it as thoroughly sound and orthodox in its sentiments, is scarcely credible. Still it would be unfair to say, that it was made in bad faith, and did not at the time contain a correct expression of the writer's views. In the year 1560, Statorius published, Very brief Animadversions on two Dialogues of Martin Cromer, "On the true and false Religion of our Time." Pinczow, 8vo. These Animadversions were anonymous, and contained no internal evidence of having proceeded from the pen of Peter Statorius ; but that he was the author of them we learn from John Leeuis, who ascribes them to him, in his "Compend. Hist. Univ. p. 541, Edit. Lugd. Bat. 1643," 8vo. The work of Martin Cromer, which called them forth, was written in the Polish language ; but a Latin translation of it was published at Paris in 1568, and at Cologne in the same year. Statorius appears, in his "Animadversions" upon Cromer's Dialogues, as an advocate for the Invocation of Christ: but he asks, whether the Apostles have anywhere said, that the Holy Ghost is God ? and his reply to this question is, that, If the Holy Ghost be God, there can be no doubt, that he is an object of adoration. He contends, however, that the doctrine of one divine essence in three persons may be proved by the testimony of Scripture.

    The next work of Statorius was, A brief Apology for himself and the universal Church of Christ, in reply to the Calumnies of Stancarus, 8vo. This appears, from the character of the types, to have been printed at Pinczow ; and, as Bock supposes, issued from the press of Daniel Luncicius, in 1560. It was directed mainly to the refutation of Stancarus's hypothesis, that before the incarnation of Christ there was no Mediator.

    When Remigius Chelmius presented to the Synod at Pinczow, January 25th, 1561, a document, in which he recommended, that the Holy Spirit should not be invoked, as a separate object of worship, Statorius expressed himself favourable to that opinion ; but did so with great caution and moderation. A Conference was afterwards appointed on this subject, between Statorius and certain Ministers, in which he shewed, with great learning and eloquence, that the Holy Spirit is not a third person in the Godhead, but the power and gift of God, which God excites in the hearts of the faithful, and of which he gives a portion to every one, according to his will ; but that he has given it to his Son without measure, and that, from this fulness of the Son, every one of the faithful has received some portion. Hence he inferred, that the Holy Spirit is not the God of heaven, and the Creator of the earth, because he cannot be measured, given, or divided into parts. These opinions were embodied, by Statorius, in A Letter to Remigius Chelmius, written by order of the Synod of Pinczow, and dated January 30th, 1561.

    Statorius was a strenuous adversary of Paedobaptism, and took an active part in the controversy on that subject in Poland. He also did much towards the advancement of Polish literature ; for he was the author of the first Polish Grammar, published at Cracow, A.D. 1568, 8vo., and one of the authors of the first version of the Bible into the Polish language.

    Sandius mentions, in a list of " Anonymous Authors," at the end of his "Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum," (p. 172,) a Letter on the commonly received doctrine of the Trinity, which Francis Junius has inserted in his "Defence of the Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity," and which bears the following title: "Epistola quam Praeceptori orthodoxo scripsit Discipulus Arianus." This letter, which purports to have been addressed by an Arian scholar to an orthodox master, has been attributed by some to Faust Socin ; but Sandius says, "I know not who could be the orthodox master of Faust Socin, who was self-taught, and had no master, but his uncle Lelio." He conjectures, therefore, that the Arian disciple was Peter Statorius, of Thionville, who had Theodore Beza for his Preceptor. Bock regards it as beyond all doubt, that the author of the Letter in question was Peter Statorius.


     (Vidend. Sandii B. A. pp. 47, 48. 172. Stoinii Epitome, p. 185. Schomanni Test. p. 193. Bock, Hist. Ant. T. I. pp. 911—922. Lubieniecii Hist. Ref. Polon. L. i. 0. v. p. 33; L. ii. C. viii. p. 148. Hoornbeek, Summa Controv. L. vii. p. 565, etc.)



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