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ANTITRINITARIAN BIOGRAPHY.

196. NICHOLAS DÜMLER was the son of honest, but poor parents, his father being a common mechanic.

He was born at Nuremberg towards the end of the sixteenth century, and went to the University of Altorf in the year 1608. Joachim Peuschel was among the first of his fellow-students, who attempted to shake his faith in the doctrine of the Trinity; but for a time his efforts proved unsuccessful. Dümler was first led to entertain serious doubts of the truth of that doctrine, by a conversation which he had with George Richter, while they were walking together; and his doubts were confirmed by subsequent conversations with Peuschel and Martin Ruarus. He afterwards became a strenuous advocate of the Unitarian doctrine, which nothing could induce him to relinquish ; and was actively instrumental in propagating it among his fellow-students, both by argument and the loan of books.

In the autumn of 1615, when an inquiry was made into the opinions of the students by the Curators of the University, Dümler alone confessed, without hesitation, that he could not believe the doctrine of the Trinity, as publicly taught; and produced, without premeditation, many reasons for dissenting from it. After this, he debated the

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question at considerable length with John Fabricius and John Schroeder, learned Divines of Nuremberg; and not being convinced by their arguments, he was urged to express his doubts more fully in writing. This he at once consented to do, and “a Summary of the Relation of the preliminary Conference,” together with a “Confession of Faith” which Dümler prepared, and which is dated Altorf, Nov. 27th, 1615, are given in full by Zeltner, in his “Historia Crypto-Socinismi” (pp. 1112—1157). The Summary is in German, and the Confession in Latin; and both are curious and interesting documents of their kind. In his Confession, Dümler declares his willingness to renounce the opinions which he has embraced, provided he can be convinced that they are erroneous; but being invited to Nuremberg a few days after, and having a presentiment that fair play would not be allowed him, in consequence of a prohibition which had been issued by public authority against his leaving the city, he suddenly disappeared on the 4th of December, the day preceding that on which the discussion of the subject was to have been resumed, and made his escape into Poland.

On the 6th of August, 1616, Dümler was cited to appear before the Senate of the University within ten weeks; and it was intimated, that he would be proceeded against without further delay, if he did not appear before the expiration of that time. As he did not answer to this citation, a decree of expulsion, or banishment, was issued against him. The forms of citation and expulsion were recovered by Zeltner, after the lapse of more than a century; and both are printed in the work above mentioned.

Ruarus has expressed the great regard which he had for Dümler, and the high estimation in which he held his talents and acquirements, in some Latin verses, in which he says, —

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