EPISCO'PIIIS, SIMON (whose Dutch name was Bisschop), the head of the Arminian. party after the death of Arminius, was b. at Amsterdam in 1583, studied at Leyden, took his degree in 1600, and was ordained pastor of the village of Bleyswyck near Rotter dam in 1610. In the following year, the states-general, with the intention of putting an. end to the agitations created by the controversies between the Gomarists or Calvinistic party and the Arminians or Remonstrants, ordered a conference to be held in their presence at the Hague between six ministers of each party. E. was one of the six. charged with the advocacy of Arminianism, and highly distinguished himself by his. good temper, ability, and learning. In 1612, the curators of the university of Leyden. appointed him professor of theology in the room of Gomar, who had gone to Seeland. This enraged the leaders of the orthodox party, who unscrupulously accused him of Socinianism,.and of having entered into an alliance with the Roman Catholics for the destruction of Protestantism. By this means the fanaticism of the populace was roused' against him; he was insulted and abused in the street, and on one occasion narrowly escaped being stoned to death. The house of his brother in Amsterdam was also sacked, under the pretext that it was a rendezvous of the Remonstrants. In 1618, occurred the famous synod of Dort (q.v.). E. was present, along with several other Arminians. The Calvinists, who happened to be in an overwhelming majority, would not allow him to speak; they told him that the synod was met not to discuss, but to judge; and, in fact,.
the whole proceedings exhibited as revolting a specimen of high-handed tyranny as any on record, even among ecclesiastical tribunals. Expelled from the church, and banished'. from the country, E. betook himself first to Antwerp, and afterwards to Rouen and Paris, but in 1626 returned to Rotterdam, where the odium theologieum against his• party had become less virulent. Here he married in 1630, and four years after was. made primarius professor of divinity in the newly-established college of the Remon strants. He died in 1643. E. held enlightened principles in regard to religious tolera tion. Not placing a high value on merely doctrinal views, but rather believing in the efficacy of the Christian spirit to elevate and purify the character, and seeing, more over, the presence of this spirit in men holding the most conflicting opinions ,(when not inflamed with controversial hates), he would have wished a broader and more Catholic bond of unity among Christians than the opinionative creeds of his day permitted. His chief works are his Confessio Remonsiran,tium (1621); Apologia pro Confession (1629); and Institutiones Theologiae, incomplete. A complete edition of his works appeared at Amsterdam in 2 vols., 1650.