Gomar, Francis

, one of the great opponents of Arminius, and from whom the Calvinists were at one time called Gomarists, was born at Bruges, Jan. 30, 1S63. His father and mother, Avho were protestants, retired into the palatinate in 1578, and sent him to Strasburgh to study under the celebrated John Stimulus. Three years after he went to prosecute his studies at Newstad, where the professors of Heidelberg found a refuge when Lewis, the elector palatine, had banished them because they were not Lutherans. In 1582 he came to England, and heard at Oxford the divinity lectures of Dr. John Rainolds, and at Cambridge those of Dr. William Whitaker, and at this latter university he was admitted to the degree of bachelor of divinity, June, 1584. The elector Lewis dying in 1583, prince Casimir, his brother, restored the professors of Heidelberg, to which place Gomar returned from Cambridge, and spent two years. In 1587 he accepted an invitation from the Flemish church at Francfort to be their minister, and exercised the functions of that office until 1593, when his flock were dispersed by persecution. The following year he was appointed professor of divinity at Leyden, but before entering upon the office, he took his degree of doctor at Heidelberg. Here he remained quietly until 1603, when his colleague Arminius began to place himself at the head of a party, known by his name ever since, and Gomarus resisted him with a zeal which his enemies have construed into bigotry and intolerance. The truth seems to have been that Arminius and his followers, while they disputed with equal warmth, chose to represent the subjects of their disputes as matters of indifference which need not interrupt church-fellowship, while Gomarus considered them as essentials. Vorstius having succeeded Arminius, Gomarus foresaw only a renewal of the controversy under such a colleague, and retired to Middleburgh in 1611, where he preached and read lectures until 1614. He was then invited by the university of Saumur to be professor of divinity, and four years after he exchanged this for the professorship of divinity and Hebrew at Groningen, where he remained during the rest of his life. The only times when he was absent were, once when he attended the synod of Dort, where the errors of Arminius were condemned; and again when he went to Leyden in 1633 to revise the translation of the Old Testament. He died Jan. 11, 1641. His various works, most | of which had been published separately, were printed together at Amsterdam in 1644, fol. He was a man of acknowledged abilities, especially in the Oriental languages. 1


Gen. Dict. Freheri Theatrum, —Foppen Bibl. Belg.Saxii Onomast,