I then told these five gentlemen, |that, notwithstanding all this, if they would consent to relinquish the title Deputies, and would each in his own private capacity enter into a conference with me, I was ready at that very moment to engage in it.| The conditions which I proposed to be mutually observed by us, were these: (i.) That they should explain their opinions on every single article and then I would explain mine; (ii.) They should adduce their proofs, and I would adduce mine; and (iii.) That they should at last attempt a refutation of my sentiments and reasons, and I would in return try to refute theirs. (iv.) If in this manner either party could afford complete satisfaction to the other, the result would be agreeable: but, if neither party could satisfy the other, then no mention of the subjects discussed in our private conference, or of its unfavourable termination, should be made in any place or company whatever, until the whole affair should be referred to a national Synod.|
But when to this proposition they had given a direct refusal, we should have separated from each other without further discourse, had I not requested |that they would offer a conference in the same manner to Gomarus, as well as to Trelcatius of pious memory, because it did not appear to me, that I had given them any cause for making such a demand upon me, rather than upon either of my two colleagues.| At the same time I enforced my concluding expressions with several arguments, which it would be too tedious now to repeat in the presence of your mightinesses. When I had finished, the deputies replied, |that they would comply with my request, and would wait on the two other professors of divinity and make them a similar offer:| and prior to their departure from Leyden, they called and assured me, that they had in this particular fulfilled their promise.
This, then, is the first of the many requests that have been preferred to me. It was the cause of much conversation at the time when it occurred: For many persons spoke about it. Some of them related it imperfectly, and in a manner very different from what were the real circumstances of the whole transaction; while others suppressed many essential particulars, and studiously concealed the counter-proposal which I had tendered to the deputies and the strong reasons which I produced in its support.