How do you want your enemies to remember you? A strong-willed battler? A powerful opponent? Or someone who used “reason’s gentle power?”
This was how one Remonstrant (Arminian) historian described Franciscus Junius (1545–1602). Junius contributed significantly to Reformed theology after John Calvin.
And yet despite Junius’ obvious disagreements with Arminianism (he was a Calvinist who even studied in Geneva), Geeraert Brandt wrote this poem of Junius:
“Famous Junius, virtuous pastor,
and fourfold nobleman, by origin, intellect, science, and virtue,
you are unlike the cruel torture of the Spanish fury.
Your weapons were words, the power of Holy Scripture, the sharp sword of
the Spirit, and the shield of endurance.
You have contended falsehood by truth, hatred by love.
Popish strong-arm tactics must make way for reason’s gentle power.”
Can you imagine that someone with whom you held such strong disagreements could write: “You have contended falsehood by truth, hatred by love.“
What a testimony of Spirit-filled virtue even in such an August Calvinist as Junius. With his intellect and virtue, he pursued truth in Holy Scripture, the Spirit’s sword. He avoided the violence of “Spanish fury” and “strong-arm tactics”. Instead, He relied upon truth and love and employed “reason’s gentle power.”
May we all be remembered for the same.