By Way of A Short Preface--

The Ambassadors that Robert Barclay were writing too were supposed to be bringing an end to the third Dutch War of 1672-1778, largely instigated by Louis XIV of France; while a full explanation of this complicated conflict with all its shifting alliances is well beyond the scope of this project, it saw England (which made its own peace in 1674,) France and Sweden going to war against Holland, itself divided by civil war and revolution during the course of the war against it, which ended the Republic and brought William of Orange (later King of England) to power. Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, Denmark and various of the German principalities unsuccessfully supported the Dutch against France. The terms of the Peace of Nimeguen (present day Nijmegen) were, for all practical purposes, dictated by Louis XIV who was also in a position to be able to interpret them; he retained most of the territory he had conquered and was established as the dominant political and military power of Europe. Any peace established by this Treaty was short lived: Louis XIV continued his conquests, instigated further warfare, and took part the in civil wars of other countries including England and Spain until his death in 1717, even though it ultimately caused the near ruin of his country.

This reprint (the first in over a century) was originally transcribed from a 19th century reprint of Barclay's collected works, Truth Triumphant (Philadelphia: Benjamin C. Stanton, 1831, Vol. I, pages 235-252) and was then corrected against the first edition of the same collection, published by Thomas Northcott in 1692 (pages 706-715.) For this edition I have modernized spelling, reduced the use of capitalization and tried to make it more consistent, and have corrected a few erroneous scriptural references and added some references that were not cited in the original. Barclay's words, and consequently his message have not been changed. My thanks to Licia Kuenning for helping me make this piece available again, and to Edsel Burdge, who provided me with a photocopy of the material from his own copy of the 1692 edition.

Peter D. Sippel, Warminster PA 18974
Ninth Month 29, 2003
Back to Barclay's Nimeguen Epistle.