Valentine Smalcius


From SOCINIANISM IN POLAND, 1957 by Stanislas Kot

The liberality of the brethren for the work of the Church was extraordinary ; funds collected for the common treasury covered the expense of the enormous produtivity of the press, the support of teachers, of the school, and of ministers in narrow circumstances, and also made possible numerous propaganda journeys to Silesia, Germany, France, Holland, and England, where the emissaries from Raków, by means of their publications and conversations, won secret adherents. In return, adherents of doctrine made pilgrimages from western lands to Raków, there to enjoy the free and public confession of it. Sienienski received them as his guests ; and the Raków pastor, Valentine Smalcius, . . . the son of a Lutheran jurist from Gotha, admitted them into the Church. Breathing the air of Polish freedom, foreigners became attached to the hospitable nation, and more than one of them straightway became Poles.

A noteworthy example of the assimilative power of Raków is provided by the case of Smalcius just mentioned. Won for the Church by Wojdowicz [Wojdowski?] while a student at Strassburg, he emigrated to Poland as a youth of twenty-one, and there until his death he worked as teacher or minister, first at Smigiel, then at Lublin, and finally at Raków. He married a Pole and brought up his children as Poles. He learned Polish language so well that he wrote it fluently, composed Polish hymns, and made the entries in his diary in Polish ; (etc). He undertook a bold controversy with the famous Jesuit preacher Peter Skarga. When Skarga attacked the brethren . . . Smalcius in a Refutation . . . included the following "Admonition to the citizens of the Kingdom of Poland":4

Be pleased to note this : that as in many other cases, so also in this, the Lord God has honored you above other nations, in that He has granted you to know . . . that which other States which exalt themselves above you do not have. This great liberty that you have, (etc). . . . . that men of diverse nations, exiles from their homelands, for no evil, only for truth alone and their own conscience, have had and have shelter among you. (Etc.)

      4 In the Bibliografia of Estreicher, Vol. XXVIII, attention is called to the extensive literary activity of Smalcius, and his productions (as also those of Socinus) are treated with impressive thoroughness.

Ideologia polityczna i społeczna Braci Polskich zwanych Arjanami (Warszawa : 1932).
The Social and Political Ideas of the Polish Antitrinitarians in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Translated from the Polish by Earl Morse Wilbur.
Beacon Hill   Boston : Starr King Press 1957, pp.133-4.



The first two catalogues of the Bodleian Library (1620, 1635) seem to contain no reference to the Socinian works which, within a decade, were to be cited by polemical divines (etc). By the time, however, of Thomas Hyde's catalogue (1674), not less than sixty Socinian writings were in the Library. These included 23 by Faustus Socinus, 11 by Valentine Smalcius, 8 by John Crell, 6 by Jonas Schlichting, and one each by Johann Völkel and Joachim Stegmann (viz. Brevis disquisitio). It seems likely that the Bodleian owed this accession of Socinian literature very largely to the efforts of Thomas Barlow (1607-91), librarian from 1652 to 1660, and later Bishop of Lincoln.   (Etc.)

Oxford 1951, p. 121.


Selected bibliographic ( University of California )

Author Socinus, Faustus, 1539-1604. Title Epitome colloquii Racoviae habiti anno 1601 / [Fausti Socini Senensis] ; ediderunt Lech Szczucki et Janusz Tazbir. Edition Wyd. 1-e.
Publisher Varsoviae : Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1966.
Description 116 p. ; 24 cm. Series Biblioteka pisarzy reformacyjnych ;nr. 5. Note Contains text of Sozzini's lectures and questions put to him by Valentinus Smalcius. Language Latin
Added Entry Smalcius, Valentinus, 1572-1622.


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