Last modified on February 5, 2017, at 07:11

Hugo Grotius

Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) was a Dutch legal scholar who promoted natural law around 1600. A tremendous theologian in addition to being an international law expert, the ideas of Grotius were later expanded by John Locke, who agreed that there is a state of nature that exists before government and that might does not make right. Both Grotius and Lock accepted the concept of a just war.

Typical among Grotius' ideas were here support of the liberty of the sea to facilitate communications among nations. He felt that no country could or should monopolize control over the sea.

But Grotius opposed the predestination doctrine of Calvinism, instead supporting the Arminian cause of free will. He was imprisoned for publicly declaring that Calvinist beliefs was dangerous to the future of Protestantism, and in March 1621 he made a daring escape from the castle of Loevestein.

Famous quotes by Grotius include:

"I saw in the whole Christian world a license of fighting at which even barbarous nations might blush. Wars were begun on trifling pretexts or none at all, and carried on without any reference of law, Divine or human." (Prolegomena)

"For God has given conscience a judicial power to be the sovereign guide of human actions, by despising whose admonitions the mind is stupefied into brutal hardness."