The rise, growth, and danger of Socinianisme together with a plaine discovery of a desperate designe of corrupting the Protestant religion, whereby it appeares that the religion which hath been so violently contended for (by the Archbishop of Canterbury and his adherents) is not the true pure Protestant religion, but an hotchpotch of Arminianisme, Socinianisme and popery : it is likewise made evident, that the atheists, Anabaptists, and sectaries so much complained of, have been raised or encouraged by the doctrines and practises of the Arminian, Socinian and popish party
Cheynell, Francis, 1608-1665.

CHAP. II. The Growth of Socinianisme.

ILL weeds thrive apace; Laelius had sowne his errors, as hath beene already shewen, in some five or sixe yeares, within ten yeares space there were whole Congregations Page  22 submitted themselves to the Socinian yoake in Sarmatia as Doctor Calovius assures mee, Intra decennium integra Ecclesiae accesserunt haeresi ejusdem in Sarmatia, Consid, Th. Soc. Prooemial. pag. 65. And this Heresie did spread so fast in Transylvania, that within twenty yeares after there were some hundreds of Congregations infected, Ut vix*triginta elapsis annis aliquot Centuriae Coetuum talium ibidem numeratae fuerint. Ibid. What they maintained upon their first Apostasie, may bee seene in a Booke, De falsa & vera unius Dei, Patris, Filii, & S. Sti. cognitione. It pleased God that Franciscus Davidis the Superintendent of those new perverted Proselytes in Transylvania, did lay some rubs in the way of Faustus Socinus; for this Franciscus de∣sired to know why Christ should bee worshipped or pray∣ed unto any longer, if hee were not God? Blandrate and Faustus did lay their heads together to answer this Que∣re; but this same Franciscus Davidis maintained stoutly that Invocation and Adoration were parts of divine ho∣nour due to God alone; This hapned about the yeare, 1578. some twenty yeares after the stirres which were in the Italian Church at Geneva, ut supra. But Faustus and Blandrate could not compose the tumults (or answer the objections) which Franciscus had raised in Transylvania, and so Faustus Socinus was forced to returne with shame enough into Poland: But when Faustus could not doe what he would, he seemed to be content to joyne with the Da∣vidians,* as they were called from Franciscus Davidis, as farre as they would goe hand in hand with him in opposing the Reformed Churches, and he did prevaile very much in a Synod about the yeare, 1588. in other points also which hee did cunningly winde in, and they greedily swal∣low; and he prevailed very farre the next yeare in another * Synod, and within a matter of foure yeares, as Calovius saith, he brought over all (them whom he had wrought up∣on, to deny the Godhead of Christ) to subscribe to the whole body of Socinianisme: and no marvaile, for though there are many parts of Socinianisme which have no rationall depen∣dance upon the deniall of the Godhead of Christ; yet when Page  23 once men come to be sofar blinded as to deny that glorious truth which shines so clearly in the Gospell, it is no wonder if they see nothing at all. Besides he was so wise as to strike * in with the Nobles, and the Courtiers, with the most youth∣full and sharp witted Pastors, and not only with subtile dis∣putants, but smooth Popular Oratours, men more able to corrupt the people, witnesse Petrus Steinius; or Statorius, by whose unhappy eloquence the sublimest subtilties of Socinus which transcended vulgar capacities, were so explained and smoothed in a popular, but plausible way, that the most re∣fined notions were made familiar to the common people; Infoelici Steinii suadâ subtiles & à rudiorum captu remotiores So∣cini sensus populari ratione tradere & flexanimae orationis genio cunctis probare poterat, &c. This blasphemous wretch did travaile, ab extremâ Silesiae or a in intimam Lithuaniam, that he might spread his errors, though he did thereby often endan∣ger his life: he lived a long time, he was about 66. years of age when he died; though it was long ere he began to se∣duce as hath been shewn, yet he had 30. years time to infect a people that were too willing to be infected; he died, as Ca∣lovius informs me, in the yeare 1604. Tandem anno etatis*quinto ultra sexagesimum blasphemam exhalat animam, Aerae Christianae 1604.

Vita{que} cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbras.