Jacobus Johannes Batelier

First name
Jacobus Johannes
Last name
Date of Birth
Date of Death
Born in
Died in
The Hague

The Walloon minister Jacobus Johannes Batelier (or Watelier) was formally deposed from his ministry (1619). During an aggressive dispute on Remonstrant theology, Batelier crossed swords with the Utrecht theologian Gisbertus Voetius in: Confutatio insulsi et maledici libri, n. p. (Utrecht?), 1637. He also reversed Voetius’s protégé Martin Schoock in: Gisberti Voetii … seu methodus disputandi adversus Remonstrantes …, n. p. (Utrecht), 1637). See: NNBW, vol. 6, cols 78–80; BLGNP, vol. 4, pp. 25–6; Van Bunge, 1989, p. 227.

In 1672, Batelier completed Vindiciae miraculorum, one of the first counterblasts (published in 1673) to Spinoza's treatise that came from the United Provinces. There is little reason to doubt that by the time Batelier published the work he was unaware about the author’s hidden identity. Spinoza’s name is not mentioned nor indicated by him and his opponent only refers to the philosopher as someone from Amsterdam. Batelier and his co-authors purposely avoid the philosophical contents of Tractatus theologico-politicus and primarily focuses his theological commentary on the book’s sixth chapter (on the revelatory value and the impossibility of miracles understood as violations of the natural order of things), which he also reproduced in its entirety for the convenience of his readers (Vindiciae, 1673, pp. 9–34. P. 9). In the outspoken anti-Cartesian riposte ‘Vindiciae divinorum miraculorum’ (starting on page 35), he accuses Spinoza of covert atheism (atheismi fundamenta) and of fatalism by secretively replacing the biblical God for nature: ‘Does this new philosopher teaches boldly by having substituted God for nature. Moreover, he fundamentally supposes that Spinoza’s exegetical conclusions on necessity are an outrageous, controversial assault on the Bible and poorly formulated—especially his unbiblical distortion of the story of King Solomon—and that these are only a pure pretext to scathingly attack Christianity. Batelier died only five months after the completion of his work, without seeing his efforts go into printing (1673).


Gisbertus Voetius