The anatomy of Arminianisme: or The opening of the controuersies lately handled in the Low-Countryes, concerning the doctrine of prouidence, of predestination, of the death of Christ, of nature and grace. By Peter Moulin, pastor of the church at Paris. Carefully translated out of the originall Latine copy

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Title
The anatomy of Arminianisme: or The opening of the controuersies lately handled in the Low-Countryes, concerning the doctrine of prouidence, of predestination, of the death of Christ, of nature and grace. By Peter Moulin, pastor of the church at Paris. Carefully translated out of the originall Latine copy
Author
Du Moulin, Pierre, 1568-1658.
Publication
London :: Printed by T[homas] S[nodham] for Nathaniel Newbery, and are to be sold at the signe of the Starre vnder Saint Peters Church in Cornehill, and in Popes head Alley,
1620.
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Subject terms
Synod of Dort (1618-1619) -- Early works to 1800.
Arminianism -- Early works to 1800.
Cite this Item
"The anatomy of Arminianisme: or The opening of the controuersies lately handled in the Low-Countryes, concerning the doctrine of prouidence, of predestination, of the death of Christ, of nature and grace. By Peter Moulin, pastor of the church at Paris. Carefully translated out of the originall Latine copy." In the digital collection Early English Books Online 2. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A69245.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 23, 2024.

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TO THE MOST JLLVSTRIOVS AND Most Potent Lords: the Lords the States generall of the Vnited Prouinces of the Low-Countryes.

INnumerable are the benefits (most Renowned and most mightie Lords) which haue happened to your Prouinces by the goodnesse of God, and are supplyed to you, as it were by the immediate prouidence of God. These are great things, that your Common-wealth, flourishing with Riches, inlarged with Territories, potent by sea and land, fa∣mous in the Artes both of Warre and Peace, hath so beaten backe the force of a most mighty enemy, that you haue alwayes waged warre on your enemyes ground, and your Cities in the midst of the heate of the warres, enioyed Halcion-dayes of Peace. All which are done by the authority of your most Hono∣rable Senate, and by the conduct of the Prince of ORENGE; of whose prayses it is better to be silent

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then to speake but little. Euen they who enuy your good successes, doe yet admire your vertue. Finally, your Common-wealth hath had such a Senate, and such Princes, as God doth giue whensoeuer hee will aduance poore and afflicted estates, to the highest top of power and glory.

But among the other benefits of God, this is most eminent, that when the bottomlesse pit doth cast out that thicke smoake, which couereth almost the whole world in a thicke mist of ignorance, amongst you the Sunne of Truth doth clearely shine in his pure orbe, and hath scattered the darknes of ignorance. Whence it is come to passe that your country, together with ciuill bondage, hath shaken off the yoke layd vpon your consciences.

Sathan, that hee might hinder the course of these prosperous affaires, hath for many yeares tryed out∣ward forces: From which enterprise being driuen, he hath betooke himselfe to craftie subtiltyes, and to in∣testine dissentions: hauing gotten men, who affecting nouelty, vnder the pretence of Pietie, haue torne the bowels of their owne Country and Church. Pittifull was the sight of your Pouinces: The enemy of our sal∣uation did brandish amongst you the fire brand of deadly dissention: A tumultuous tragedy was acted on the Theatre of Belgia, your aduersaris beholding it with much pleasure: Finally, wee saw your Com∣mon-wealth shaking, and your estate almost desperate, had not God appearing, beyond all expectation, tur∣ned away this imminent destruction by timely and seasonable remedyes: vsing to that purpose, your Authoritie, Wisedome, and prudent Constancie.

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With how great patience you haue endured these tur∣bulent wits, with how great vigilancy you haue pre∣uented this spreading contagion, if no man should speake of it, yet the greatnesse of the disease, and your estate restored againe to safety, would aboundantly witnesse. In which enterprise, the vertue of the most famous Prince of ORENGE hath manifestly appeared, in whom wee haue a singular proofe what very great in∣dustry can performe with greatest fortitude; who hath added to so many warlike acts the praise of ciuill pru∣dency. By this deed (most Honourable Lords) yee haue obtayned more praise, by restoring, then by en∣larging the Common-wealth: For this intestine pe∣stilence hath in few yeares brought more dammage, then forraine warres were able to bring in many ages. Of which your vertue all the Orthodoxe Churches throughout Europe doe reape great fruit; because the sparkes of this flame did already flye to them; and the iudgements of many among forraine nations did wa∣uer concerning these controuersies. For in the questi∣ons of Prouidence and Predestination, that opinion is wont to be most acceptable among the common peo∣ple which doth measure the counsels of God by the counsels of men, and doth put vpon God humane affections.

But among other things which were prudently and happily done by you, the conuocation of the Sy∣node of Dordt hath obtained the chiefe place. Then which Synode for many ages past there hath beene none more famous, more holy, nor more profitable to the Church. Wherevnto that yee might call most choise men from diuers parts, yee spared neither cost,

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nor labour; wherein all things were done so orderly and grauely, that it hath drawne the people into ad∣miration, and hath stayed those that were staggering, and hath so troubled headstrong & obstinate persons onely with the sight thereof, that they which before did seeme to be desirous of the conflict, and greedily to call for the encounter, haue by contrary practises, (whether feare strooke them, or their conscience af∣frighted them) begun to shun the hearing of the cause, to hate the light, and to worke delayes. To so excel∣lent a thing, both other Princes did exhort you, and especially the most renowned Prince IAMES, King of great Brittaine, who hath alwayes beene most earnest and forward to driue away the errours of all innoua∣tors; who as he is rightly stiled the Defender of the Faith, so he hath his eyes vigilant on all sides, careful∣ly watching lest Christian faith should any where re∣ceiue any damage.

And I who to so holy a worke could not bring my trauell, haue at least brought my desires. It cannot be expressed how earnestly I desired to be present at that reuerend Synode, to which the Churches of France appointed me, with some of my brethren. What were the impediments which hindred my determined iourney, I neede not rehearse; yet being absent, I performed what I could; For I sent to the Synode my opinion of the fiue points of the Controuersies which are hindred in Belgia, hauing strengthned it with places & proofes out of the holy Scripture. And when many men, and the same good men, and of great authoritie and wisedome amongst you, had exhorted me that I would write somewhat vpon these contro∣uersies,

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I not vnwillingly obeyed; which I haue done, not so much in hope of effecting what I would, as be∣ing ashamed to refuse them, and desirous of making triall: For I had rather that godly and learned men should finde in me want of prudence, then accuse me of negligence. Therefore I haue printed my Scheduls and papers, and haue reviewed those things which I had meditated vpon these questions, which I haue vt∣tered in a plaine and vntrimmed stile, that as it were in a leane spare body, the force of the truth might cleare∣ly appeare. And I haue indeauoured to bring light to this darkenesse, in which the most quicke-sighted doe often grope at the way.

I am not ignorant, how dangerous a thing it is to vndergoe the hazard of so many iudgements; how many there that are ambitiously soure, and proudly disdainfull; how few there are that take and vnder∣stand these things; how fewer that are taken by them; how hard it is to contend with wily and wittie men; who euen when they themselues are caught, doe so speake as if they had catched others; and who in a desperate cause doe so carry themselues, as if they were touched with commiseration: who vndoe againe the things that haue beene begun by themselues, and doe of purpose infold their meanings, fearing to be vnder∣stood; like Lyzards, who out of the open field doe runne into bushes. Nor am I ignorant how hard a thing it is for a man that is imployed, whose minde is troubled with other cares and businesse, to write pun∣ctually and exactly concerning those things whereto the most free studies are scarce sufficient, nor men at greatest leasure,

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But your humanitie and wisedome hath moued and stirred me vp, to be bold to attempt it: For ye know, that in great and hard enterprises, the endeauour is lau∣dable, euen when successe is wanting. Nor haue I doubted to consecrate these my labours to you, that the worke done for the defence of that cause, which ye happily maintaine, might manifest it selfe in your name: I shall seeme to my selfe not to haue lost my labour, though I get no praise, if I obtaine pardon: Or if by my example, I shall stirre vp any to performe some thing more perfectly, whereby the truth may stand vnshaken against these innouators, which doe naughtily abuse their wits, and are of a wicked and vnhappy audacity.

In the meane while, in your wisedome you shall ob∣serue from what beginnings, to how great encreases this pestilence hath come, and how vnder a shew of the liberty of prophesing, the raines are let loose to wanton wits, which couer licentiousnesse vnder the name of liberty. For whilest (as it were for the exer∣cise and shew of wit) men dispute of those foundati∣ons of faith, of which heretofore there was no strife amongst vs, the most holy and most certaine things began to be called into doubt, and their scholasticall skirmishing, forthwith burst out into a serious and earnest fight. For when this liberty (as it falleth out) had passed from the Schooles into the holy Pulpets, and so into the Streetes, Tauernes, and Barbers-shops, the whole Country was changed into a certaine sea, boyling with tumults: Whence hatred hath beene bred in the people, and pietie is turned into conten∣tion, and obedience towards Magistrates is more

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slack: to which euils, when the ambition of some men, affecting nouelties, had ioyned it selfe, which stirred vp this fire with winde and fuell laid to it, this flame in a short time hath vnmeasurably encreased: But by the goodnesse of God, and by your authority and prudent vigilancy (most illustrious Lords) the flame of so great a fire is abated, liberty is recouered, the Common-wealth is setled, the Vniuersitie purged, and truth, which in many places durst scarce open the mouth, or else was disturbed by contrary clamours, broke through the obstacles, and (as it is in the striking of flints) it shone more cleare by the very conflict; yea truely, by it there haue appeared no obscure en∣creases of pietie in the people; by it there is greater concourse to heare the word of God, and greater at∣tention. For God (such is his goodnesse) doth vse vi∣ces themselues to stir vp vertues which grow sloath∣full in idlenesse; For zeale and pietre being prouoked doe encrease, euen as the fire of the Smiths furnace decaying, is set on fire by water poured on. Also they that haue learned by experience, what snares Sathan doth lay for them that are a sleepe and vnwa∣rie, are stirred vp to keepe watch for the time to come.

There yet remaine some reliques of this disease, nei∣ther is the malice of the Factions quite asswaged; but there is hope that the sides of this wound will in a short space close together againe, and mens mindes will be reconciled. So that it may be vnlawfull in your Vniuersitie (from whence this contagion crept into the whole Country) hereafter to teach any doctrine differing from the truth, and to call into doubt those

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things which are piously and prudently determined out of Gods word in your sacred Synode; and that hereafter no man be admitted to the sacred Ministery, whose faith is not tryed, and his consent with his bre∣thren knowne; and that the authority be restored to Synodes, and their vse be made more frequent: that the euills that are breeding may be preuented at their beginnings, as when the stinging Scorpion is bruised presently vpon the wound. Also it hath beene wisely prouided by you that these things hereafter bee not published among the common sort, that the people be not taught so much to dispute, as to liue: and that they accustome themselues to fight with their owne vices, and not with other mens opinions. For it is a most hard, and a very profitable combate which eue∣ry godly man maketh with himselfe. On the contra∣ry side, when strife is sowne by strife, and not the truth but the victory is sought, first charity and then truth is lost among the contenders.

And especially diligence is to be vsed, lest peace and riches bring forgetfulnesse of the Crosse of Christ: and lest the people vnmindfull of the benefits of God, should at length draw vpon them his iudgements. There are not wanting examples of people to whom when religion had brought forth riches and prospe∣rity, a while after the same riches and prosperity choa∣ked religion, and with a shamefull parricide killed their Mother. So much the more care therefore is to be had, that the eares of your people may alwayes ring with those instructions whereby the memory of the calamities driuen from them may be refreshed, and their mindes might tremble with a godly feare,

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when they foro-see a farre off the dangers to come, and Satan lying in waite for them.

To which thing it is no light instigation, that by these late tumults you haue tryed, that the peace of the common-wealth, doth consist in the integrity of Religion, neither can the purity of true Religion (which is maintained by you) be violated, but that also the pillars on which your common-wealth stan∣deth, and by which the authority of your supreame Magistracy is sustained, will be shaken. For these two are so knit together by a mutuall bond, that the one cannot be ouerthrowne, but the other also must fall downe. Your authority was strooke at through the side of Religion; and in the foundations of the Church the foundations of the common-wealth were vndermined. Your power therefore will be sound and safe, when obedience due to princes, shall be thought to be a part of piety: and when the Pa∣stors of the Church shall traine vp, by the word of God, the people to performe obedience to you. And on the other side, the Church shall flourish when Princes shall be her nourcing fathers, and shall thinke themselues to be set by God at the sterne of the Com∣mon-wealth, that God might raigne by them, and that Religion might grow vp, and might carefully be manured vnder the shadow of their ciuill power. This you doe (most Illustrious Lords) diligently and happily: It cannot be said how much your people are indebted to you, and they will still owe you more. Surely, all good men in the Christian world, doe greet your so prosperous successe, and doe admire at your wisedome, and doe striue in prayers with God, that

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he would preserue you long to the Church and com∣mon-wealth; whom hee hath vsed to preserue the Church and common-wealth: and that he would so gouerne you by his spirit, and defend you by his care∣full prouidence, that all your endeauours may ob∣taine their wished ends, and that yee may haue a com∣mon-wealth happily gouerned, a State set in safety, domesticall concord, aboundant riches, valiant ar∣mies, frequent victories, a people obaying your com∣mand, and who may doubt whether they should call you Lords or Fathers.

One that doth highly honour your most illustrious Lordships, PETER MOVLIN.

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