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Belgic Confession

(Confessio Belgica). A major Calvinist creed, one of the three standards used in the Dutch Reformed Church and its offshoots (the two others are the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dort). It was written primarily by Guido de Bres* (Guy de Bray) in 1561; at the time, de Bres was a hunted man in his late thirties, preaching illegally as the Lowlands neared revolt against Spanish rule. Modifications in detail were made by Adrian de Saravia, H. Modetus, G. Wingen, and F. Junius. The confession was written by de Bres in French, but was immediately translated into Dutch, and soon into German (1566). Received enthusiastically by the Calvinist churches of the Lowlands, it was adopted by a synod at Antwerp (1566), by synods at Dort (1574) and Middelburg (1581), and finally by the national synod of the Netherlands (northern Lowlands) after independence from Spain had been gained, in 1619. It draws heavily on the 1559 Gallic Confession,* written for the Huguenot churches by Calvin and by Antoine de la Roche Chandieu.