The period of time around the Great Synod of Dort, the 400th anniversary of which we are celebrating in 2018–19, was an important time in the history of Reformed theology. During the Reformation, though the magisterial Protestants faced significant internal challenges, the greatest threats (e.g., Rome, hostile governments, the Libertines/Antinomians), were external. From about 1593–1619, however, the Reformed churches faced a great threat from within. A Reformed minister in Amsterdam, Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) began subtly to undermine the gospel in a variety of ways. He downplayed the effects of the fall. He re-defined the nature of faith in salvation. He re-defined the nature of grace (and its relationship to nature). He made election conditional upon foreseen faith. He revised the biblical and Reformed doctrine of the atonement and suggested that believers could lose their salvation. In short, he undermined the Reformation recovering the gospel of salvation by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide) all the while posturing as a defender of the Reformation solas. It was very clever. It frightened the Reformed not only in the Netherlands but also in the British Isles, in France, in the Empire, and elsewhere. They were so disturbed that they called together an international Synod to address the issues he raised.
Around the time of the Synod of Dort several remarkable theologies were printed. In 1609–10, Amandus Polanus (1561–1610) published probably the greatest work of the period, Syntagma theologiae christianae. William Ames (1576–1633) published his Marrow of Theology (1634) and Johannes Wollebius (1589–1629) published his Compendium of Christian Theology in 1626.
One of the most interesting works to appear around the time of the Synod of Dort was the Synopsis of Purer Theology (1625), which records a cycle of academic disputations at the University of Leiden. It was “[c]omposed by four professors of Leiden University (Johannes Polyander, Andreas Rivetus, Antonius Walaeus, and Anthonius Thysius).” The Synopsis is generally considered by scholars to be one of the more important summaries of Reformed theology from the period. Until recently it has been unavailable to many English readers because it has been untranslated. Volume 1 appeared in 2015. Now volume 2 has appeared.
As I mentioned after the publication of volume 1, these are expensive academic volumes. They are intended for scholars and libraries. It has a limited audience and the publisher has to recover its costs by charging a premium for these volumes. If you live near a theological library (e.g., a seminary or Bible college) you might ask them to order a copy for their collection. The inter-library loan clerk at your local public library might be able to borrow a copy for you. Church libraries with serious collections (e.g., the Escondido United Reformed Church has a marvelous church library) might want to add this to their collection. Of course scholars of the period and of the history of Reformed theology will want a copy.