- First name
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- Beuningen, van
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- Date of Death
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Koenraad van Beuningen was a Dutch diplomat and Amsterdam Burgomaster. He was a colourful, influential figure with a keen interest in philosophy and theology, and was sympathic to Quaker ideas. He was secretary (1642) of Grotius, and headed numerous diplomatic missions for the Dutch Republic. See: NNBW, vol. 7, cols 118–120.
According to a certain testimony, Koenraad van Beuningen had been curious what a philosopher like Spinoza would have to say about religion and mortality in his last hours. The account by Saint-Évremond reads:
Mr. van Beuningen, a man of spirit and erudition, assured mr. de Saint-Évremond that, when he was with the dying Spinoza—because he was curious, and also others had done the same thing—and asked him with which sentiments on religion he was to die, he [Spinoza] said to him: ‘That he put the care of his soul in the hands of God, that he had served him according to the knowledge he [God] had given him and that he had served him otherwise had he given him other [knowledge]’.
Source: (P. Desmaizeaux), ‘Vie de Mr. De St.-Evremond’, Saint-Évremond, 1740, vol. 1, p. 110; quoted in Ternois, 1965, p. 4.