Lubienietski, Stanislaus

, in Latin Lubieniecius, a celebrated Socinian divine, was descended from a very noble family, related to the house of Sobieski, and born at Racow in that kingdom, in 1612—3. His father, a minister, bred him up with great care under his own eye; and, even while he was a school-boy, brought him into the diet of Poland, in order to introduce him to the acquaintance of the grandees, and instruct him in knowledge suitable to his birth, fn 1644 he sent him to Thorn in Saxony, where, young as he was, he joined the two Socinian deputies at the conference then held in that city, for the re-union of different religions among the reformed, drew up a diary of the conference, and then attended a young nobleman as travelling tutor through Holland and France, where he acquired the esteem of several learned men, with whom he conferred on subjects of religion, and on the death of his father, in 1648, he returned to Poland.

In 1652 he married the daughter of a zealous Socinian, and was appointed ro:idjntor to John Ciachovuis, minister of Siedlieski; and the synod of Czarcow having admitted him into the ministry, he was appointed pastor of that tliurch; but, on the Swedish invasion in 1655, he retired to Cracow with his family, where he employed himself in offices of devotion with the Hungarian Unitarians, who were come thither with prince Ragotski. At the same time he insinuated himself much into the king of Sweden’s favour; and the city reverting again to the dominion of Poland in 1657, he followed the Swedish garrison, with a view to obtain of that prinpe, that the Unitarians, who had put themselves under his protection, might be comprehended in the general amnesty, by the treaty of peace with Poland. On his arrival at Wolgast in October this year, he was well received by the Swedish monarch, and conversed intimately upon his religion with some Swedish | lords; but when the peace was concluded at Oliva, he was disappointed in his object, and the Unitarians were excepted out of the general amnesty granted to all other dissenters from popery.

On this, instead of returning into Poland, he embarked for Copenhagen, in order to seek a settlement there for his exiled brethren, and arrived in that city in Nov. 1-660, where he made himself very acceptable to the Daijish no* bility. He had an extensive epistolary correspondence, which furnished him with many particulars from foreign countries. With this news he entertained the nobility; and, when it was read to the king (Frederic III.) he was so delighted with it, that he created a new place for him, that of secretary for transcribing these news-letters for his majesty’s use, and he was promised an annual pension for it. The king, who never received him at court, but often heard him discourse on religious subjects, engaged his confessor in a controversy with Lubienietski in the royal presence. But this giving umbrage to the Lutheran divines, Frederick found it necessary to tell him privately that all he could grant him was to connive at his followers settling at Altena. On this he returned, in 1661, to Stetin, in Pomerania, but his principles being equally obnoxious there, he was obliged to go to Hamburgh, whither he sent his family the next year, 1662. He had now three, several conferences with queen Christina, upon points of Socinianism, in the presence of some princes; and the king endeavoured to persuade the magistrates to suffer him to live quietly, but his intercession did not prove sufficient; and being several times commanded to retire, he went to the king at Copenhagen, in 1667.

His next remove was to Fredericksburg, where he obtained leave to settle with his banished brethren, aad a promise not to be disturbed in the private exercises of their religion. He acquainted the brethren with this news, and spared no pains nor cost, even to the impairing of his own estate, that he might settle them there; he also supported them at his own expence. But neither did they enjoy this happiness long. The duke of Holstein-Gottorp, without whose knowledge the above permission had been granted, at the persuasion of John Reinboht, one of his chaplains, and the Lutheran superintendant, banished them both from that city, and from all his dominions. In this exigence he returned to Hamburgh, by the advice of his | friends, who had also procured him the title of secretary to the king of Poland, in hopes to oblige the magistrates to let him live quietly in that city; the king of Denmark likewise interceded again for him, all which prevailed for a considerable time, but at last the magistrates sent him positive orders to remove. Before, however, he could obey this order, he had poison given him in his meat, of which he died May 18, 1675, having lamented in verse the fate of his two daughters, who fell a sacrifice to the same poison two days before .*

*

His wife also, who had eaten but very little of the meat, very narrowly escaped death. Bibl. Aut. vol. 6. It it said the poison was put into his meat by his maid servant, suborned for the purpose. Hist. Reform. Polon. lib. iii. cap. 17. P- 278.

His body was buried at Altena, against all the opposition that the Lutheran ministers could make. He had obtained a retreat for his banished brethren at Manheim, in the Palatinate, that elector being a prince of latitudinarian principles in matters of religion.

Lubienietski was composing his History of the Reformation of Poland at the time of his death, and nil that was found among his manuscripts Whs printed in Holland, in 1685, 8vo, with an account of his life prefixed, whence the materials of this memoir are taken. He wrote several books, the greater part of which, however, have not been printed: the titles of them may be seen in “Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum,” p. 165. The most considerable of those which have been published is his “Theatrum Cometicum,” printed at Amsterdam, 1667, folio. This contains, among other things, the “History of Comets from the flood to 1665,” an elaborate work, containing a minute historical account of every single comet that had been seen or recorded. On the subject of comets, it appears he had corresponded with the most celebrated astronomers in Europe. They who had the care of the impression committed so many rogueries, that he was obliged to take a journey to Holland on the occasion.

The Socinians, who look upon him as a saint, if not a martyr, pretend that he was favoured with a very remarkable revelation during the siege of Stetin; and the following story is told in his life: “Two powerful reasons ei aged Lubienietski to pray that God would be pleased to cause this siege to be raised: his wife and children were in the town; and there was a Swedish count, who promised that | be would turn Socinian, in case Lubienietski could by his prayers prevent the taking of it. This minister, animated by the private interest of his family, and by the hopes of gaining an illustrious proselyte to his religion, continued three weeks fasting and praying; after which he went to meet the count, and assured him that the town would not be taken. The count, and the persons about him, treated this as the effect of a delirium; and were the more confirmed in that opinion, as Lubienietski fell sick the moment he left them. But they were all extremely surprised, when, at the end of six days, there came news that the siege was raised; since it was impossible that any person should have acquainted Lubienietski with that good news, when he first told it. However, when the count was called upon to perform his promise, he answered, That he had applied to God in order to know whether he should do well to embrace that minister’s religion, and that God had confirmed him in the Augsburg confession.'1

1 Gen. Dict. —Moreri. —Hutton’s Dict.