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

About this Item

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.
Rights/Permissions

To the extent possible under law, the Text Creation Partnership has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above, according to the terms of the CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/). This waiver does not extend to any page images or other supplementary files associated with this work, which may be protected by copyright or other license restrictions. Please go to http://www.textcreationpartnership.org/ for more information.

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.

Pages

CHAP. XXIV.

The arguments of the Arminians, by which they endea∣uour to stablish Election for faith fore-seene, are exa∣mined.

I. THe Arminians, who by a new name, call themselues Remonstrants, in the conference at the Hage, doe poure downe a thicke haile of places of Scripture, by which they endeauour

Page 161

to perswade that election is of them that beleeue, and that the decree of Predestination, is nothing else but the will of sauing them that beleeue. This is to doe another thing, and not to touch the question, for the controuersie betweene vs, is not concerning these things. The state of the question is this Whether electi∣on be for faith fore seene: Then also, whether God e∣lecting seuerall and certaine persons, doth consider in them perseuerance in faith, as a thing already ful∣filled, and as a condition, on the performance where∣of Election doth rest. But these men leauing the que∣stion vntouched, are altogether in that, that they might prooue election to be of them that beleeue: Wherefore although the ranke of their nine Syllo∣gisms, which they set in order, or admit many other ex∣ceptions, yet because they are all faulty in that fallacy, which is called Ignoratio Elenchi; by which that which is concluded, is thought to hurt the aduersary, when yet it doth not hurt him, it is better to grant that which they would haue, to wit, that God electeth none but they which beleeue, and that election is of the faithfull, so this be fitly receiued, and in a good sense; to wit, that God doth elect, and that he is wil∣ling to saue those that beleeue, because hee saueth no man but to whom hee will giue faith, and because without faith it is impossible to come to saluation. And that God in electing, doth consider men as faith∣full; that is, as those that by his gift were to haue faith: And that the decree of election is with respect of faith; because the decree of saluation doth in∣clude also the decree of the meanes to come to that end, and therefore also of faith in Christ. And surely

Page 172

Arminius, and after him Arnoldus, pag 92. doe falsely fasten on vs this opinion: That God determined to saue the elect, without the consideration of faith in them.

The thunderbolt therefore that they cast with such a noise, is turned away onely with a blast, or with the winde of ones cap, and toucheth neither vs, nor to the matter.

II. No more to the purpose doth the other secta∣ries, so often heape vp the words of Saint Paul, Ephes. 1.4. He hath elected vs in Christ, which they so take, as if Saint Paul had said, He hath elected vs for Christ, and considered as already beleeuing in Christ, when he did elect vs. The Apostle saith no such thing, whose mea∣ning is plaine and simple; He elected vs in Christ, that is, He appointed vs to saluation, to be bestowed vpon vs by Christ, or in Christ.

III. They effect nothing more by these places: No man shall separate vs from the loue of God, which is in Christ Iesus, Rom. 8.39. And, God was in Christ recon∣ciling the world to himselfe, 2 Cor. 5. Surely here is not a word of faith fore-seene: For if they should bite their nayles vntill the bloud followeth, they could proue nothing by sixe hundred such places. God was in Christ while he was on the earth, in him and by him, working out our reconciliation; but what is this to faith fore-seene?

IV. It is a weake dart which they cast, He that belee∣ueth in me hath euerlasting life, Iohn 6. and, without faith it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11. By these places in∣deede, the necessitie of faith is proued, but not the fore-seeing of it before election: No man is saued, but

Page 173

hee that beleeueth, because God would haue this to be the way of saluation, and because hee giueth saluation to none, to whom hee doth not giue faith.

V. These are the words of Conradus Vorstius, in his book intituled the Conference with Piscator. Sect. 18. If we are adopted by faith, we are also elected by faith. But I deny that that will follow; for Adoption is af∣ter Election, as the Apostle teacheth, Ephes. 1.5. He predestinated vs to the adoption. He which saith, we are adopted by faith, doth not therefore say, that we are elected by faith, or for faith; but he saith, that by faith we are affected with the sense of the fatherly loue of God to vs, and that the beleeuers receiue the spirit of adoption.

VI. He doth defend himselfe by the words of the Apostle, 2 Thes. 2. He hath chosen vs from the beginning, through faith. But here Vorstius doth wickedly cut short the words of the Apostle, and doth present them lame vnto vs. The words of Saint Paul are these, God from the beginning hath chosen you to saluation, through sanctification of the spirit, and beliefe of the truth: Hee doth not say, that we are elected for faith fore seene; but that we are elected to obtaine saluation by faith. And if it may be gathered from this place, that we are elected for faith fore-seene, it will be proued by the same place, that we are elected for sanctification or regeneration fore-seene, which doth not please Ar∣minius.

He doth vrge that place of Saint Iames, chap. 2. Hath not God chosen the poore of the world, rich in faith? but in vaine: for therefore they are rich in faith, because

Page 164

God hath giuen them faith, and he hath therefore giu∣en it them because they are elected. If I say, God hath elected the Saints which doe enioy glory, doe I there∣fore thinke that God elected them for the fore-seeing of the glory to come? And if it be lawfull for the Ar∣minians to take these words of Christ, I giue my life for my sheepe; as being spoken by anticipation or preuen∣tion of those who were not yet his theepe, but were to be: why may it not be lawfull for vs also to take these words, God chose the beleeuers: as being spoken by an anticipation, of those which doe not beleeue in act, but are considered as those who are to be∣leeue.

VII. Vorstius addeth, that Mat. 22. few are said to be elected, because few haue the wedding garment. But I deny, that this is to be found there: Christ shuts vp with this sentence, the parable of those that were called to the wedding, wherof onely few obayed him, calling them; Many are called, few chosen. In which words the reason is not yeelded, why he was cast forth that had not on the wedding garment, but why, of many that were called, there came but a few: Which thing, that the Reader might not obserue, Vorstius hath vsed a double deceit; for hee hath omitted those words, many are called, and then also instead of Nam For, he hath st downe, Quia, because; that he might perswade that here the cause was rendred, why he that was vndecently apparelled was call out: For he knew that the particle, Nam, for, doth often set downe the note or marke, but not the cause, as Mt. 26.73. and in many other places: but in this place, it is no doubt but that here the cause is signified: For the cause is

Page 165

noted, why of so many that were called, so few follow∣ed him calling, to wit, because although many are called, yet few are chosen. Whence it is manifest, that this place, if any other doth hurt Arminius.

VIII. The other things which he doth heape vp, that hee might proue, that they that are elected, are those that be ecue, are nothing to the purpose: For the elect are the beleeuers, and the belecuers are the erect: But they are not elected, because they are belec∣uers, but that they might bereeue.

IX. There is no more force in the obiection which he bringeth out of the 2. Pet. Chap. 1. Make your cal∣ling and election sure: Out of which words he doth in∣ferre, that calling is before election. But Peter doth not here set calling before election, but the certainty of our cailing, before the certainty of our election: I willingly acknowledge that that certainty is first in order. But that election is before calling, Saint Paul teacheth, Rom. 8. Whom he predestinated hee called, whom he called he iustified, whom he iustified he glorified: For as iustification is before glorification, and cal∣ling before iustification, so predestination is before calling.

X. Greuinchouius against Ames, Pag. 171. doth thus dispute. I say that by your predestination the Gos∣pell is inuerted: For this is the sntence of the Gospell: If thou beleeuest thou shalt liue: but this your predestina∣tion saith, if you are predestinated to life you shall beleeue. I answere, it is one thin; to inuert or turne the sen∣tence, another thing to ouerturne it: For this sen∣tence is conuertible, whosoeuer is elected shall beleeue and whosoeuer doth beleeue is elected: For we speake

Page 176

of that faith which Saint Paul Tit. 1.1. calleth the faith of the elect. Doe not the Arminians rather inuert the Gospell, which faith, that faith is of the elect; but they say, that faith is not of the elect, but that electi∣on is of the faithfull? That which Greuinchouius in that place doth stuffe in concerning reprobation, shall be examined in his owne place.

XI. The same man, pag. 130. doth thus argue. Sal∣uation is the reward of faith, 1 Pet. 1.9. the crowne of righteousnesse, the reward of labour, the prize of our strife and finished course, the inheritance of the sonnes of God, that is, of the faithfull, Iohn 1.12. Gal. 4.30. And be∣cause it is hard to see how these things can be drawne to election for faith fore-seene, seeing it is not there spoken of election, nor of faith foree-seene, he addeth these words, Therefore Election to saluation is not the decree concerning the end of men, as they are men simply, but of the saluation of men, as they are such sort of men, to wit, of them that are faithfull, and of them that perse∣uere in the faith. This also we confesse in that sense which we said before; but it were better to say, of them that were to perseuere, because God electing, doth not consider faith and perseuerance, as a thing perfor∣med, but as a thing to be performed, and that by his bounty and gift.

XII. He further addeth, The will of bestowing the reward, the wages, &c. doth necessarily presuppose the fore-seeing of faith, and perseuerance in faith, by the co∣uenant of the Gospell, if thou beleeuest and doest perse∣uere, thou shalt be saued. Here you digresse from the question: For it was spoken of election for faith fore∣seene; but you speake of saluation which is bestowed

Page 177

after faith. God electing to saluation, doth fore-see that faith will come before the obtaining of saluation, but he doth so fore-see it, that God foreseeth that which he himselfe is to worke, which to speake pro∣perly is not to fore-see, but to will. Furthermore, eternall life, is called the reward of faith, because it is not to be had, but after the fight of faith, neither can we come thither but by labour; but it is not giuen for the labour, neither are we chosen to saluation, for the fore-seeing of labour or faith; but God who doth predestinate vs to the reward, doth also prede∣stinate vs to the fight: As Paul testifieth, Phil. 1.26. It is giuen to you in the behalfe of Christ, not onely to be∣leeue in him, but also to suffer for him. It is also a kinde of reward freely bestowed, as Saint Ambrose teach∣eth, Epist. 1. Lib. 1. The reward of liberality and of grace, doth differ from the stipend of vertue, and wages of labour. In the meane while, the Reader shall note by the way, that the Arminians striue for election, vpon the fore-seeing of workes: For eternall life in the holy Scripture, is called the wages or reward not onely of faith, but also of workes, of almesdeedes, of pati∣ence, according to that of Matthew, Chap. 19. Call the labourers, and giue them the pay. If therefore it may thence be proued, that election is for faith fore-seene, because eternall life is called the reward of faith, why shall not the same election be for workes fore∣seene, seeing eternall life is often called the reward of workes; especially seeing to beleeue, is it selfe a worke, and that the chiefest worke, and the Armini∣ans are of opinion, that we are iustified by faith, as it is a worke, as shall be seene in his owne place?

Page 178

XIII. The same man, P. 170. and 188. doth much please himselfe in this argument. If predestina∣tion is such as you faine it to be, then the will of God, con∣cerning the saluation of a man that is to be saued, is two fold, and contradictory to it selfe: One whereby he doth will and ordaine saluation to him that doth not beleeue, that is, not for faith fore-seene: The other, whereby in time he will not saue the same man, vnlesse as he is faithful. But I deny that these things are contrary: To elect to saluation him that doth not beleeue, that he may be∣leeue, and to will the saluation of him that beleeueth. So if a father should appoint his little sonne of two yeeres old, to the office of a Senator, or of a Pastor of the Church, and afterward should haue care to fur∣nish with learning the same sonne, when he is growne great, that he might come to this office; doth this father will contrary things, because hee appointed him to this office at the first, being vnlearned, and af∣terward being learned?

XIV. The same man, Pag. 194. doth thus dis∣pute. What men soeuer, and howsoeuer qualified, and in what order soeuer, God in time doth saue the same men, and so qualified, and in the same order he hath decreed to saue; But in time he first giueth Christ, then according to his wisedome he doth iustly administer the meanes that are necessary to faith and repentance, both sufficiently and ef∣fectually, and them that repent & beleeue in act, he doth re∣ceiue into grace: And finally, those that perseuere in Faith he saueth. Therefore he hath decreed to saue in the same man∣ner and order those men, and so qualified, or so considered.

Ans. The maior proposition doth mingle false and true things together, that those that are false might lye

Page 179

hid in the multitude, nor is it in all respects true. There is no doubt, but that whatsoeuer men, & what sort of men God in time doth saue, the same men, & the same sort of men he hath decreed to saue: But that God doth saue them in the same order in which he decreed, is one way true, and another way false. It is true that God doth saue in the same order in which he decreed to saue; but it is not true, that God in executing or sauing, doth follow the same order which he did in decreeing: For in decreeing, he first thinkes of the end, before he thinkes of the meanes: Contrariwise, in executing, hee beginneth with the meanes and helpes, and finisheth in the end. So the Phisitian doth first intend health before physicke, but in exe∣cuting, he doth first apply the medicines, before he healeth. Greuinchouius therefore doth erre, who from the order which God doth follow in executing his de∣cree, doth gather what should be his order in decree∣ing. In the meane while, by the way obserue in Gre∣uinchouius the spirit of Arminius: He dares not say that God giueth faith, but that hee giues onely the meanes to faith, because he will haue it to be in the power of free-will to vse these meanes, and that faith is but the gift of God in part.

XV. The argument of Arnoldus, pag. 181. hath the same fault; These things (saith he) are thus coupled together: that God will first haue one belecus, before he will haue him be saued; wher as your predestination teacheth cōtrarily, that God doth first will to saue a man and then he willeth that he should beleeue. In these words he doth confound the or∣der of decreeing, with the order of executing: for in the execution of his decree, God will first haue him to

Page 180

beleeue, before he will haue him to be saued: but in de∣creeing, God doth first decree to giue saluation, be∣fore he decreeth to giue faith; and he first thought of the end, before he thought of the meanes.

XVI. The same man, pag. 195. doth contend that these are things incompatible, and which cannot stand together, that God would saue Peter absolutely, and that he would not saue him, but vpon the condition of faith. I answere, there is an homony my and equi∣uocation in the word absolutely: If by absolutely, be vnderstood certainely, precisely, or necessarily, these are not contrary, to will to saue Peter certainely and precisely, and to will that Peter should be saued by faith: Euen as these things are not contrary; To will absolutely that Peter should liue, and to will that he should liue by foode and by breathing. But if by these words, To will to saue, absolutely, be vnderstood that God will saue without faith: then we are slandered, for there is none of vs of this opinion, none beleeues it: but that this is the meaning of Greuinchouius, the following words declare, for he addes, These things are contrary, to will that the same man should beleeue, and that he should not beleeue. Which of vs, yea, what Chri∣stian hath euer said, that God doth will that a man should not beleeue in Christ? and yet hee doth a∣scribe that opinion to Caluin, citing in the margent his Institutions, lib. 1. chap. 18. §. 13. where there is no such thing, nor hath there beene any more rigid and precise maintainer of faith in Christ, then that holy man: Therefore after his sicke minde hath vomited out this poison against vs, he triumphs, as of a thing well performed, as the Cocke crowing vpon the dung∣hill;

Page 181

These things (saith he) when you haue reconciled, I will say you are a great artist in reconciling. But it was not for Ames, a man well deseruing of the Church, to labour in reconciling the doctrine of the Gospell, with the blasphemy of Sathan.

XVII. The sectaries are wont, after this manner to accuse vs of ouerthrowing the Gospell: The Gospell say they) which on condition doth promise life to the be∣leeuer, cannot serue for the executing the decree whereby life is precisely appointed to certaine and determined per∣sons. But I affirme that it doth serue; because God promiseth life vnder a condition, which he decreed to worke in the elect. For what letteth that God should not promise life to him that beleeueth, and yet decree to giue faith to those certaine and determi∣ned persons which he hath elected?

XVIII. Arnoldus, pag. 52. hath these words; If faith be an effect of election, it cannot be comprehended in the decree of election. But there is none of vs saith, that faith is comprehended in the decree of Election, but a purpose or will of giuing faith: And this will hath that respect to the decree of election, as the part to the whole; for the decree of the meanes to the end, is included in that decree by which the end is decreed; as in the will of building a house, the will of prouiding stones and timber is contained.

XIX. It is a thing of small moment, which they euery where beate vpon: According to the Gospell (say they) faith is a condition required in sauing and electing, but not according to your opinion. It is a caumny. We acknowledge that faith is a condition required in sa∣uing a man, but not fore-required in electing him, as

Page 182

Arminius would haue it: Faith is a thing without which God doth not elect, but not that for the fore∣seeing whereof he doth elect. That faith is required in election, although the Scripture doth not say it in the same words, yet it may fitly be receiued, and accor∣ding to the meaning of the Scripture, if faith be laid downe as a condition following election, and with∣out which God will haue no saluation. No otherwise then breathing is a condition to life, although a man be first appointed to life, before to breathing.

XX. The Arminians in their Epistle against the Wa∣lachrian brethren, p 43. doe thus explaine their opini∣on: It seemeth most inconuenient to vs to affirme, that God in election did decree what he himselfe would worke in man, by his spirit: For by the decree of absolute election to saluation, the conferring of saluation alone, and not of faith is decreed. This their false and foolish opinion they vphold by this argument: Seeing that saluation and faith are most diuers predicates, neither doe they make the same thing by it selfe, or by accident; it cannot possible be, but that the decree of conferring saluation is one, the de∣cree of conferring faith is another. I answere: Although saluation and faith are diuers things, yet faith is a ne∣cessary meanes to saluation; and the decree of the end includes also the meanes; life and breathing are things no lesse diuers, then faith and saluation: and yet by the same decree, whereby one is appointed to life, he is appointed also to breathing, because breathing is the meanes to life.

XXI. This obiection of the Arminians is frequent and worne out with vsing: If God doth predestinate men to faith, as to the meanes by which they should come

Page 183

to saluation, it must needes be, that God should also prede∣stinate the reprobates to incredulity and impenitency, as to the meanes by which they should come to damnation. But I deny that this followes; for here we speake of the meanes which God himselfe doth supply, but incre∣dulity and impenitency are meanes which man him∣selfe ath suggested of his owne. The meanes which God findes already made, are to be distinguished from those which he makes: God in predestinating, doth consider man as corrupt and lying in sinne; whence it comes to passe, that the meanes to damnation are already in man: neither is there any neede that they should be supplyed otherwise, much lesse by God, who neuer is the author of sinne. But seeing man is naturally destitute of the meanes of saluation, they cannot come to man, vnlesse God giue them. Neither is incredulity a condition required after the same manner in reprobates, as faith is in the elect; for that is a condition required before reprobation, but this is a condition following election: Thence it is, that in∣credulity and impenitency, are things deseruing re∣probation, but faith is a thing not deseruing election nor saluation.

XXII. With that argument another also doth fall to the ground, which these Sectaries heape vp, euen with a loathsome repetition: If God (say they) doth not elect for fore-seene faith, then he doth not reprobate for fore-seene sinne. But I deny that these things are alike, or that one followeth of another: for God fore∣seeth sinne, because he is not the author of sinne, but he doth not fore-see faith, but doth decree to worke it; and this which God decreeth, he doth not fore-see

Page 184

it, but doeth will it: if we would vse significant and fit words, and not purposely darken things by an im∣proper kinde of speech. And truely the Arminians seeme to mee, to strike themselues with their owne stings: For if this reason of theirs preuaile, why may it not also be lawfull to reason thus. If God electeth without the respect of good workes (as Arminius will haue it) then also he doth reprobate without the re∣spect of euill workes: The consequence is the same, and yet the Arminians doe not admit this. Arnoldus after Arminius doth heape together many things, by which he would get enuy to our cause, and would loade it with hatred, the knowledge whereof is worth the labour, for they are cloathed with much art, and searched colours: In the front hee doth place argu∣ments by which he would proue, that our opinion is contrary to the wisedome of God.

XXIII. He therefore, Page 217. doth thus argue. It is contrary to wisedome, first to ordaine abso∣lutely to any one, that thing which is lost, and therefore is not at all, and then to decree that he should obtaine the samething. The same homonomy, is in the word ab∣solutely, which we noted before in Greuinchouius, in the sixteenth obiection; the answere therefore may be sought for there. But it is not true that this is contrary to the wisedome of God, no more then ab∣solutely to decree that one should recouer his lost health, and yet decree that he should take Phisicke, and should obtaine helpe of the Phisitian.

XXIV. He doth repeate the same argument in other words, in the same and in the following page, but that he also addes, That it is contrary to the

Page 185

wisedome of God, to ordaine first who shall receiue the re∣ward, before he ordaines on what condition they are to re∣ceiue it. But we doe not teach this: For, wee deter∣mine that all the decrees of God are eternall, as con∣cerning the order, we doe not part these into two de∣crees, one whereof should be of the persons to be sa∣ued, the other of the condition whereby they should be saued. By one and the same decree, God determi∣ned to saue certaine men by Faith: But if wee should speake as Arnoldus doth imagine, nothing would thereby be derogated from the wisedome of God. The father doth often decree to giue something to his children, before he hath determined on what con∣dition, or by what labour. In this place Arnoldus hath stuffed in many things of vnresistablenesse, and of re∣probation, which wee haue put off to another place: Therefore from the wisedome of God, he passeth to the iustice of God, which he doth contend to be vio∣lated by vs.

XXV. Therefore, Pag. 224. hee beginneth with a calumny. You determine (saith he) that God de∣creed to saue some men without the beholding of Faith. I say he doth falsely accuse vs: For although God doth not elect vs for faith, yet hee doth elect vs to faith, and faith is a part of the definition of election. But if of two that are alike sinners, he electeth one to salua∣tion, not considering obedience as a thing already per∣formed, but electing him to performe obedience, God shall not therefore be vniust: for concerning his owne he doth what he will, according to that, I will haue mercy on whom I will haue mercy, &c. It is e∣nough that although he giueth to the one the grace

Page 186

that is not deserued, yet he imposeth no punishment on the other but what is due. In the meane while the Papists haue cause to reioyce, who haue sound a patron of merit in Arnoldus: For it is said to be merit, when the reward is giuen to any one for righ∣teousnesse. Eternall life is a reward, and that it might be giuen for righteousnesse, Arnoldus will haue it giuen for the beholding of obedience performed, therefore it is giuen to him that merits it.

XXVI. It is idle which he addeth Pag. 225. By the decree whereby God hath decreed to giue saluation to none but to him that beleeueth, he sheweth that he doth rather loue obedience, then the creature. But contrary∣wise by your decree, God is made to loue men, although they be sinners, rather then righteousnesse; which is con∣trary to iustice. Surely these things are knit together with a very wicked art. For, first he imagines that we teach that God will saue other men then beleeuers. Secondly, he doth craithy compare that loue where∣with God loueth obedience, with that loue where∣with God loueth the creature: seeing the loue of obe∣dience (which is the very iustice of God) is rather to be compared with the loue wherewith God loueth his goodnesse and mercy. For although God loueth his owne iustice more then the creature, yet hee doth not loue his iustice more then his goodnesse, by which he doth doe good to the creature: for God doth no lesse giue cleare and certaine proofes and effects of his goodnesse, then of his iustice; which goodnesse is also a kinde of iustice, if iustice be taken not strictly for that vertue by which rewards are giuen to the iust, and punishments to the vniust; but for that generall

Page 187

vertue, wherby God doth doe all things conueniently and as it is meete. And although all things are equall in God, yea all the attributes of God are one vertue, and the very essence of God, yet the Scripture doth extoll the goodnesse of God with farre greater praises then his iustice: So in the Law God doth visite the iniquity of the fathers vpon the children, vnto the third and fourth generation, but doth extend his mercy to thousands of generations. So Psal. 36. The iudgements of God are compared to the mountains, and his goodnesse to the deepe. And Psalme 30. His goodnesse is extended to a life or an age, but his an∣ger is restrained to a moment. Saint Iames doth con∣sent to this, Chap. 2. v. 13. saying that mercy doth boast it selfe, and glory ouer iustice; because God hath manifested to vs more euident arguments of his goodnesse then of his iustice. God is therefore rightly called, Optimus maximus, The most good, and the most great; but most good is set first, and then most great. And if you would repeate the matter from the begin∣ning, you shall finde that in the first place the decree of creating is to be laid downe, in which there is good∣nesse, but not iustice.

XXVII. Arnoldus doth more largely presse the same things, Chap. 9. where he saith that the iustice of God is violated by vs, while wee will haue God to haue ordained men to saluation without the behol∣ding of any obedience; which as I haue already said, is not our opinion. I confesse indeede, that God doth loue his owne iustice more then man; but I deny that he doth more loue the manifestation or execution of his iustice, then the manifestation of his mercy and

Page 188

goodnesse towards man. God doth more loue that which is due to him by the creature, then hee doth loue the creature it selfe: But he doth not more loue that which is due to him from the creature, then hee doth loue that which he oweth to himselfe, to wit, the manifestation of his glory, by doeing good to the creature: Surely there was danger that God could not maintaine his iustice, vnlesse these innouators had issued forth, who patronize his iustice, preferring it before his goodnesse and wisedome. And this is the place where Arnoldus will haue God to be a debtor: Iustice (saith he) doth appoint that God should giue to the creature performing obedience, that which is his. Neuer was any thing said more harsh by the most vehement maintainers of mans merits: Surely Arnoldus is pre∣pared to say to God, giue me that which is mine, for this thy iustice requireth. O proudely spoken! But let vs proceede to other things.

XXVIII. A little after he doth endeauour to proue that we offend against the same goodnesse of God, in the doctrine of reprobation: But wee haue appointed a peculiar chapter for the examining of these things, as also there shall be a place of exami∣ning those things which he doth euery where with∣out order stuffe in, of Reprobation, and of Free will, and of Christ the foundation of election.

XXIX. It is not to be omitted, that it is famili∣ar with the Arminians to inuey against the doctrine of Election, which is beleeued in our Churches, and that vnder the pretence of piety, and exhortation to good workes. For they say that precise election doth extinguish all the endeauour of good workes, prayers,

Page 189

hearing of the word, and doth takeaway euery pious enterprise. For if one beleeue that hee were predesti∣nated to faith, and to good workes, hee will leaue the care to God of mouing man infallibly, and would shake off all wholsome feare, because hee is perswaded that his saluation cannot be lost, nor his faith cast off. These and other things borrowed from the Pelagians, and still warme from the anuile of the papists, they carry about, as it were the Circouse∣an pompe, with a great clamour; Also these craftie men speake this, as men taught by experience: For they say, that while they were of opinion with vs, they felt that vice growing on them by this doctrine, and that a languor and diminishing of the loue of God, crept vpon them, and that sometimes they felt some temptations of desparation: But as soone as they shooke off that opinion of precise election, they were healed of these diseases, and their piety grew hot. No doubt wee had bid piety and sanctitie of manners farewell, if this sect had not rose vp, which hath triumphed ouer vices, and hath raised vp piety, almost dead. I doe not search into their manners: thus much I say, their writings relish of anger, and are full of bitternesse.

But to the purpose. I deny that by our doctrine iust occasion of sinning is taken, and the raines let loose to intemperance: But nothing hath euer beene said so holily, nor so truely, which may not be drawn to the worser part, and be corrupted by a sinister in∣terpretation. Saint Paul suffered the same calumny, who in the sixt Chapter to the Romanes, doth with an opportune prolepsis, and timely preuention, re∣moue

Page 191

from himselfe this opinion, speaking thus; Shall we continue in sinne that grace may abound?

XXX. Wee deny therefore that these things which they imagine, doe follow of our doctrine. If God hath predestinated any one to faith and repen∣tance, he ought not therefore to be lesse carefull how he may please God, and yeelde obedience to him. For, repentance is carefulnesse it selfe. They there∣fore so speake as if they should say, that the elect ought to want carefulnesse, because God hath prede∣stinated them to carefulnesse.

XXXI. Neither doth the beneficence and bounty of God, hinder the vigilancy and watchful∣nesse of man. So God giueth vs our daily bread, and yet by this he doth not hinder our labour. He doth in vaine expect from God succours for his life, who doth sit idle with his armes a crosse. The same God which giueth vs foode, exhorts vs to labour: for his blessing doth not come vpon sloath, but vpon diligence.

XXXII. Furthermore nothing letteth, that a man should with lesse diligence follow that labour, the euent whereof is determined by the certaine decree of God, whether this decree be knowne to vs, or whe∣ther it be not knowne. Christ was not ignorant of the tearme of his life vpon earth, and yet did hee auoide the dangers, and escaped the hands of the Iewes more then once. Ezechias being recouered from his disease, knew that he had yet fifteene yeeres to liue, in which time it is no doubt, but he receiued foode, and had care of his health. God had reuealed to Paul, that none of the passengers that were in the same ship

Page 192

should be drowned, and yet for all that, he exhorted the Saylors to labour, and commanded them to be kept in the ship, who hauing let downe the boate would haue fled. The Arminians will not deny, but that the euent of their warres, was determined by the purpose of God, yet they would not thence inferre, that it was in vaine to sight couragiously. The Scrip∣ture doth testifie in many places, that God hath set to euery one the limits of his life, and that the num∣ber of our daies is determined by the purpose of God, and yet he is not to be dispraised, who sends for the Phisitian in his sicknesse, or hee, who before the bat∣tell puts on armour: For the industry of man, must serue the decree of God; neither is it right, that the liberality of God, should be a cause of negligence to vs. So the infant moueth it selfe in the wombe, and doth it selfe helpe its owne natiuity, although that power which it hath of mouing, is from God. Sure∣ly, seeing faith and repentance are the meanes to sal∣uation, nothing is so contrary to reason, as to vse the end for the abolishing of the meanes. Wherefore Saint Paul, Philip. 2. doth acknowledge that it is receiued from God, both to will and to doe, and yet in the same place he doth exhort to worke out our saluati∣on with feare and trembling; whom wee had rather beleeue then Arnoldus, whose words are these, Page 273. It seemes to me, that the conscience of sinne, is al∣together extinguished in him, who knoweth that he is deli∣uered from sinne by the absolute and immutable ordinance of God. What? Was the conscience of Dauid hard∣ned to sinne, or did he loose the sence of sinne, after that God signified to him by the Prophet Nathan, that

Page 192

he had taken away his sinne? No, he sorroweth, and doth grieuously lament his sinne: for griefe and re∣pentance doth stick fast in the minde euer after par∣don is obtained: So Saint Paul. 1. Tim. 1. saith, that God had mercy on him, and yet in the same place he doth detest his sinne.

XXXIII. Wee are to thinke the same thing concerning prayer, as concerning the labour and en∣deauour of good workes: For we doe rightly and pi∣ously aske of God those things which are determined by his certaine purpose: For God who hath deter∣mined to doe good to vs, will giue that good to our prayers, and not to sloathfulnesse and security. Iosa∣phat did not in vaine pray before the fight, 2. Chro. 20. although he was not ignorant that God had already decreed what should be the euent of the battell. The Apostles knew well enough that their sinnes were forgiuen them by God, and yet they did daily pray, Forgiue vs our trespasses. Christ did not doubt of his resurrection, and of the obtaining of glory after the combat, and yet he did pray by night, and went aside into the mountaine to pray.

XXXIV. I let passe, that euery man, euen the best, is obnoxious and subiect to temptations, which assailing him, he is to flie for the helpe of God, least his faith faile, or sloathfulnesse and negligence creepe vpon him.

XXXV. Doth not Saint Paul also witnesse, Rom. 8. that the holy-Ghost prayeth in vs, and doth suggest sighes and prayers, whence hee is called by Zacharie, the spirit of supplication. Zach. 12.10. Which seeing it is the effect of the good pleasure of God,

Page 193

and the fruit of election, it were a maruaile if election it selfe should keepe vs back from prayer.

XXXVI. And if any man that is elected doth yet doubt of his saluation, he hath somewhat to aske of God, to wit, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a full perswasion, and the sustaining of his staggering faith, and the increase of charity and zeale, and the obtayning of glory; and if he be certaine of his saluation, hee must aske the in∣crease of this confidence, hee must aske perseuerance in faith and good works, hee must pray to bee kept backe from sinne, to which he feeleth himselfe prone: he must pray for the fulfilling of the promises of God, he must pray against the temptations of Sathan, who although hee cannot ouerthrow the elect, yet he doth prick their heele, and doth dig into them with his goades.

XXXVII. That is of the same lumpe, where∣with Arnoldus from Arminius, Pag. 304. doth vp∣braide vs. Your doctrine (saith he) doth make the ser∣uants and Ministers of God sloathfull in their ministery, because from thence it followeth that their diligence can profit none, but those whom God will absolutely saue, and who cannot perish, and againe their negligence can hurt none but those whom God will absolutely destroy, and who cannot be saued. The Pelagians obiected the same things to Saint Austin. Lib. de bono perseu. Chap. 14. Where∣unto wee haue already largely answered: For the same reasons which stirre vp the carefulnesse of the hearers to repentance and good workes, are also of power to stirre vp pastors diligently to vndergo their office, and to prick forward their hearers to repen∣tance: For although the elect cannot perish, yet wee

Page 194

know that God doth bring the elect to saluation, by the word and sacraments, and by the ministery of the Gospell, whose decree our obedience must serue.

And although the minister of the word, dealing perfunctoriously and carelesly cannot cause, that he that is elected should perish, yet hee hurts himselfe, and shall beare the punishment of that negligence in the day of iudgement. Therefore although he did not hurt others, yet hee should very much wrong him∣selfe. Saint Paul, a most vehement maintainer of ele∣ction, doth professe that he endureth all things for the elect, that they may obtaine saluation. 2. Tim. 2.10.

XXXVIII. As concerning the Reprobates, if this reason of Arminius preuaile, by the like reason we shall neyther eate nor drinke, nor shall parents be bound to be carefull of the health of their children: because this negligence can hurt none but them whom God will haue to perish, who by his decree hath set sure bounds to the life of euery particular person, which cannot be pulled backe, nor passed o∣uer. And if it were manifest to the pastors, which of their flocke were Reprobates, then there were some colour for the doubting, whether they ought to be carefull for the saluation of them that are Repro∣bates: But seeing that this is vnknowne to them, they ought to scatter the seede of the word euery where, and leaue the euent to God.

XXXIX. Arnoldus, Page 307. saith, that which in my iudgement is exceeding bad: If any one (saith he) should teach, that God himselfe hath precisely appointed to nourish one for some time in this life, and that

Page 195

he would so prouide the bread where with he should be nou∣rished, that he could not but haue it aboundantly: I grant that such a one neede not be warned that hee should be carefull, how to prouide himselfe bread. But I affirme, that such an one needes, and ought to be warned to prepare himselfe bread; because the same God who doth promise bread, and hath decreed to giue it, doth also declare in his word that he will giue this bread to our labour, and by the meanes of our carefulnesse: Therefore he that will giue the bread, doth also giue strength, will and industry, whereby this bread should be prepared: So that Arnoldus yeelds that to him∣selfe, which no man in his right sense, would yeeld to him.

XL. Furthermore, the certainty of Election may be taken two manner of waies, eyther for the immutability of the decree of God, or for that cer∣taine perswasion, whereby any one doth beleeue that he is elected: Of the former kinde of certainty, it is onely spoken here, the latter doth require a peculiar treatise: But by the way, we say that we beleeue none of those things which Arnoldus doth falsely attribute to vs, whereof this is one; that all men are bound to beleeue that they are elected to eternall life: Nay, we teach, that he that will not beleeue in Christ, and re∣pent, is bound to beleeue that saluation gotten by the death of Christ, doth not pertaine to him: Of the same stampe is that calumny, when he saith, that we command wicked men to be secure, as they that can lose saluation by no euill deedes. Fie on that ab∣hominable doctrine. To say, I am elected, therefore I may be wicked, is the speech of a reprobate man, who

Page 296

will therefore be wicked because God is good. By this meanes, that loue wherewith God in Christ hath loued vs, which is the most vehement incitation to loue God, is turned into a pillow, on which pro∣phane security may sleepe. Whosoeuer God hath elected, he hath giuen him, or will giue him, the ho∣ly-Ghost, by which he abstaineth from so prophane a thought. So him whom hee hath appointed to life, he hath appointed also to foode and to breathing. He were ridiculous who should say, if God hath de∣creed that I should liue till I am eighty yeeres old, what neede I eate, seeing it cannot be but I must liue so long? Surely the destruction of such a man is neere; for God hath determined to vse this his sencelesse pee∣uishnesse to punish him.

XLI. In the meane while wee admonish, that the certainty of the election of seuerall persons, is carefully to be distinguished from that certainty whereby seuerall men beleeue themselues to be ele∣cted: The former is the certainty of the decree, the latter is the certainty of faith. For if Arminius could proue, that piety and the endeauour of good workes, is extinguished by the perswasion of election, yet it would not thence follow, that the decree of God con∣cerning the election of particular persons, is not cer∣taine and precise: But it would onely follow, that this decree is not to be beleeued by vs to be certaine. Whence it appeares how ill Arminius and Arnol∣dus doe reason, who thereby inferre that the decree of God, concerning the election of particular persons, is not absolute nor precise, because the confidence of election, doth make some men more negligent to the workes of piety.

Page 197

XLII. Adde to these, those things which we haue laid downe in the second chapter, where we haue shewed how many waies the doctrine concer∣ning election, is profitable to good manners, and to the discipline of piety, which notwithstanding wee would haue thus to be taken, not that euery one is to expect a reuelation of his election, but the Gospell is to be heard, and this promise, whereby God doth promise life to them that beleeue, is throughly to be fastned in our minde, and to be embraced with our whole heart: By which perswasion, whosoeuer shall feele himselfe to be liuely affected with the loue of God, and to be driuen to repentance, shall easily ga∣ther that he is elected, and that the thing promised in the Gospell doth belong to him. For although electi∣on is in nature before faith and repentance, as the cause from whence these vertues flow, yet faith and repentance is better knowne to vs, and we are alwaies to proceede from the things that best are knowne: whence it commeth to passe, that many times we goe to the cause, by the effects, which order in the schooles is called Resolutiuus.

XLIII. And if we would imitate Armini∣us, it were an easie thing to lay these things vpon him, and to teach how many waies his doctrine doth of∣fend against the wisedome and goodnesse of God, and therefore also against his iustice: How many waies occasion may thence be taken either of distrust or of frowardnesse, by what meanes it doth blow vp a man while he burst, and lift him vp on high, that it might throw him downe headlong; For, one that is filled with Armianisme may say thus. God indeede is

Page 198

willing to saue me, but he may be disappointed of his will, hee may be defrauded of his naturall defires, which are farre the best: Those whom God will saue by his Antecedent will, hee will destroy by his Con∣sequent will: Also his election doth rest on the fore-seeing of mans will; I were a miserable man, if my saluation depended vpon so vnstable a thing. The same man will also reason thus; God giueth to all men sufficient grace, but hee hath not manifested Christ to all men, therefore there is some grace suffi∣cient without the knowledge of Christ. Also the same man will easily beleeue that God doth mocke men, for he hath learned in the schoole of Arminius, that God doth seriously desire & intend the saluation of all and singular men, and yet that neuerthelesse he doth call very many by a meanes that is not congru∣ent, that is, by a meanes, in a time and measure, which is not apt nor fit, by which meanes, whosoe∣uer is called, doth neuer follow God calling. But what doe I know, whether he calleth by a congruent and agreeable meanes or no? Adde also these fa∣mous opinions, that vnregenerate men doe good workes; that they are meeke, thirsting after and do∣ing the will of the Father; that faith is partly from grace, and partly from free-will: Nay, what that a∣ny maintainer of the sect of Arminius, shall dare to set lawes to God himselfe, and to say that God is bound to giue to all men power of beleeuing? And that the iustice of God doth require, that he may giue to man that which is his owne, and that man himselfe may determine and open his owne heart to receiue the word of God. O your fidelity! Are these your famous

Page 199

incitations to holinesse of life? Doth Arminius traine vp men to piety by these instructions? Surely if any one is stirred vp to good workes by these things, hee is thereby the more corrupted. For, God had rather haue sinnes with repentance, then righteousnesse with pride. God will not stirre vp men to repentance, with the losse eyther of our faith or his glory: Nor are we onely to doe our endeauour that men be stirred vp to repentance, but we must also see that it be done by meanes that are conuenient, and not contumeli∣ous against God.

Notes

Do you have questions about this content? Need to report a problem? Please contact us.