Johannes Marckius On Witsius’ Embassy To England

…He had always the preference given him in their synods, and was twice honored with the supreme government and headship of the university; namely, in the years 1686, and 1697. Nor must we omit, that when, in the year 1685, the states of Holland sent a splendid embassy to James the Second, king of Great Britain, who at that time was pursuing measures, which at last justly ended in his total ruin; and Wassenar, lord of Duvenwarden, and Weedius, lord of Dykeveldt, and Citerius, were the person nominated to execute sumptuous commission; the second of these noble personages easily convinced the other two, that none was so proper to attend them to England, in quality of chaplain, as Witsius; who might not only, y his uncommon knowledge in religious and civil matters, be of great service to them in both respects; but also, be no small credit to the reformed churches of Holland, by letting the English nation see what great divines flourished there. The design being intimated to Witisus, he cheerfully closed with it; though he was at that time very ill and weak in body. After some months’ stay in England, he confessed, on his return, that he had conversed with the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of London, and many other divines, both conformist and dissenters: “by which conversations,: he would say, “I was much furthered in learning, experience, and moderation.” From that period forward, the principal prelates and clergymen in England did not conceal the respect and esteem in which they held this great man; especially,m as he came to be more and more known to them.

—Johannes Marckius, “Some Account of the Life of Herman Witsius, D.D.” transl. Augustus M. Toplady, in The Works of Augustus M. Toplady, 4:60–84. London: William Baynes and Son, 1825.

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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