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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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
Du Moulin, Pierre, 1568-1658.
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,

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Subject terms
Synod of Dort (1618-1619) -- Early works to 1800.
Arminianism -- Early works to 1800.
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"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. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 23, 2024.



The other things which they adde, are now to be exa∣mined by vs.

I. THE doctrine of Reprobation, is so farre profitable to the elect, in as much as by the comparison of the lot of Re∣probates with theirs, they are stirred vp to the praise and admiration of the bounty of God towards them. Then also when the pledges of Ele∣ction doe begin to faile, and the spirit of adoption is grieued by the lusts of the flesh, it is profitable to the faithfull to be striken with some horrour, and to be stirred vp to try themselues, whether they proceede in regeneration, or whether they grow worse and fall backe, that so pricks and incitements might be put to them that are sloathfull.

II. The very word election doth proue, that there are some that are reprobates; for there were not some e∣lected; vnlesse the rest were passed by and reiected. The

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Scripture maketh mention of Reprobates, 1. Pet. 2.8. Which stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed. And Iude 4. Certaine men are crept in vnawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation. These in the Reuelation are noted out vnto vs, by those who are not written in the book of life, the number of whom Christ doth insinuate to be very great, when hee saith, Many are called, few chosen. The same is proued by experience: For not onely before the comming of Christ, but also at this time there are very many nations to whom the name of Christ is not knowne, without the knowledge of which there is no saluation.

III. Reprobation is the decree of God, by which from eternity he decreed, not to giue to certaine men his grace, by which they might be freed from their engrafted deprauation, and from the curse due to them, and appointed them to iust and deserued pu∣nishments for their sinnes.

IV. The definition of Thomas doth not please me, who saith that the decree of Reprobation is the will of permitting one to fall into sinne, and of laying vpon him the punishment of damnation for his sinne: For the permission whereby God doth permit, doth not be∣long to predestination, but to his prouidence, al∣though it serue to predestination.

V. It is the opinion of the Arminian sect, that Re∣probates may be saued: For (saith Arminius) that de∣cree is not of the power, but of the act of sauing. Very ill spoken: For where the act of God is determined by his decree, in vaine is the power by which this act may be resisted. This opinion doth draw with it

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other opinions no better then it selfe, for errors are tyed together among themselues like serpents egges: For if a Reprobate may be saued, he that is not writ∣ten in the booke of life, may effect that hee be now written in, and so the number of the elect will not be certaine, nor the decree of Reprobation be irreuoca∣ble and peremptory (as they speake) vnlesse after fi∣nall perseuerance in incredulity. Also hence it will fol∣low, that a reprobate may, if he will, obtaine faith, and conuert himselfe: whence it would come to passe, that faith should not be of the meere grace of God, which wee shall see hereafter to be the opinion of Ar∣minius.

VI. God is, after the same manner, the cause of Re∣probation, as the iudge is the cause of the punishment of them that are guilty, and sinne is the meritorious cause. Seeing therefore the consideration of sinne doth moue the iudge, and the iudge doth condemne to punishment, it appeareth that sinne is the remote cause of damnation, and not onely a condition neces∣sarily fore-required, and that the iudge is the next and neerest cause.

VII. Furthermore although sinne be the cause of appointing to punishment, yet it is not the cause of the difference betweene the Elect and Reprobate. For examples sake: Two men are guilty of the sme crime, and it pleaseth the king to condemne one, and to absolue and free the other, his sinne indeede that is condemned is the cause of his punishment, but it is not the cause why the king is otherwise affected to the other then to him, seeing the fault on both sides is alike: The cause of the difference is, that some∣thing

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thing steppeth betweene, which doth turne the pu∣nishment from one of them; which in the worke of predestination is nothing else but the very good plea∣sure of God, by which of his meere good pleasure, he gaue certaine men to Christ, leauing the rest in their inbred corruption, and in the curse due vnto them. For which difference, it is great wickednesse for vs to striue with God, seeing hee is not subiect nor bound to any creature, and punisheth no man vn∣iustly, giuing to one the grace that is not due, and imposing on the other the punishment that is due.

VIII. Here it is demanded what is that sinne for which God doth reprobate, to wit, whether men are Reprobated onely for the sinne which is deriued from Adam, and for that blot which is common to Reprobates with the elect, or whether they are also reprobated for the actuall sinnes which they are to commit in the whole course of their life. The an∣swere is at hand: For although naturall corruption be cause sufficient for Reprobation, yet it is no doubt but that God hath decreed to condemne for the same cause for which hee doth condemne; and hee doth condemne the Reprobates for the sinnes which they haue committed in act: For in hell they doe not onely beare the punishment of originall sinne, but al∣so of actuall sinnes: Therefore also God hath appoin∣ted them to damnation for the same sinnes. Now to Reprobate, and to appoint to punishment, are all one. God doth so execute any thing in time, accor∣ding as he from eternity decreed to execute it: Now he doth punish in time for actuall sinnes, therefore

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also hee decreed from eternity to punish for them Thence it is that the punishments of the men of Ca∣pernaum, was to be greater then the punishment of the Sodomites, and the punishment of him that knew the will of his master, greater then the punishment of him that knew it not, because there is a great diffe∣rence betweene the actuall sinnes for which they are punished. Nothing hindreth, that God considering a man lying in his naturall corruption and deprauati∣on, should not also consider him as poluted with those sinnes which he was to commit by that naturall deprauation.

IX. Arminius doth not thinke that any man is Reprobated for originall sinne, for he contends that Christ hath obtained the remission of it for all man∣kinde. But he will haue man to be reprobated onely for the fore-seeing of actuall sinnes, that is, for the breach of the law, and the contempt of grace: In which thing he doth seeme not to be constant to him∣selfe. For seeing all actuall sinnes doe flow from ori∣ginall sinne, it cannot be, that the cause and fountaine of actuall sinnes should be remitted by God, and yet the sinnes that flow from thence should not be re∣mitted: As if God should forgiue a man intempe∣rance, but should punish him for adultery; for acti∣ons doe flow from habits and naturall inclinations, as the second acts doe flow from the first.

X. Without doubt incredulity, and the reiecti∣on of the Gospell are among the sinnes, for which a∣ny one is reprobated; For by this reiection we sinne against the Law, by which God will iudge vs: For the law commandeth that God be loued with all our

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heart, and that he be obeyed in all things, and with∣out exception, and therefore also that he be beleeued when he speaketh, and that hee be obeyed when hee commandeth vs to beleeue, whatsoeuer it shall be which he shall eyther command or shall say.

XI. That hee should be Reprobated for reie∣cting the Gospell, and despising the grace of Christ, to whom the Gospel was neuer preached, is against all reason: For, whom the Gospell doth not saue, it leaueth vnder the law, to be iudged by it, which law doth then binde a man to beleeue in Christ, when Christ is preached to him: Nor is it the Schoole ma∣ster to Christ, but to them who haue meanes to come to the knowledge of Christ; After the same man∣ner as the law did not binde them to belecue the prophecy of Ieremy, who neuer heard of the name of Ieremie, nor could it be knowne to them.

XII. And although reprobation cannot be said to be the cause of sinne, because sinne goeth before reprobation, yet it cannot be denied but that repro∣bation is the cause of the denying of grace, and of the preaching of the Gospell, and of the spirit of adopti∣on, which is peculiar to the elect: For seeing this de∣nying is a punishment, it must needes be, that it is in∣flicted by the will of a iust iudge. These are the words of Arminius, Page 58. against Perkins: Effectuall grace is denyea by the decree of Reprobation; and a 〈◊〉〈◊〉 after, God by the certaine accree of Reprobation, determinea not to giue faith an repentance to some, to wit, by yeelding them his effectuall grace, by which they would certainely belecue and be conurted. There is no cause therefore that we should be traduced by the Arminians in this

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respect, seeing that the principall of their sect doth say the same thing.

And it is easie to tell the cause why God should not be bound to giue to all men faith and repen∣tance: For God who hath not wrought the disease, is not bound to giue to all men the remedies of the disease, nor to giue the ability of performing those things which are due from man to God. For this im∣potency & disability in performing, proceeded from man himselfe, not from God: And the fulfilling of the law, is a naturall debt; Which law seeing it is violated by the retection of the Gospell, it is plaine, that it is also a naturall debt to beleeue the Gos∣pell, not before it is preached, but then when it is preached.

XIII. The Arminians are of opinion, that no man is reprobated, but hee that hath contemned that grace which doth leade to Christ, and they make in∣credulity the speciall cause of reprobation not onely in them to whom the Gospell is preached, but a so in them who haue not heard the name of Christ spoken off. Arminius maketh these guilty of the contempt of grace: For he saith that there is giuen to all men vn∣resistaby the faculty of beleeuing, and the power of obtaning faith, if they will: Yea, they say, that sufficient meanes to be eeue were administred to the heathen, who before the comming of Christ, liued in the inmost part of Spaine or Scythia: And they lay downe a certaine vniuersall sufficient grace, common to all men; but when they come to explaine that grace, sometimes they place it in the common noti∣ons, and naturall light; sometimes in the contem∣plation

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of the creatures, sometimes in any generall knowledge of the law: Of which cursed doctrine, and how by these things they doe not obscurely passe into the campe of Pelagius, shall be spoken in their due places.

XIV. But here we are euery where set vpon by their darts, and the Arminians doe abundantly cast reproaches vpon vs, and doe faigne to themselues monsters which they may kill. The conferrers at the Hage, Page 122. after they haue belched out some calumnies, doe thus conclude their speech: These things are briefely spoken, against that absurd, detest∣able, and abhominable opinion. Good words I pray you: These terrible vizards doe not fright vs. They ima∣gine that we teach, that in fidelity doth flow from re∣probation, as if reprobation were the cause of infide∣lity. The good men sing this Cuckowes song to vs sixe hundred times, attributing to vs the doctrine which we neither beleeue nor teach: For if one hath not decreed to giue to him that is blinde the reme∣dies by which he might recouer his sight, hee is not therefore the cause of his blindnesse, nor hath hee ap∣pointed him to blindnesse.

XV. They ground on a false foundation, on which they build those things which are worse. For they thus beginne their speech of Reprobation, Page 118. It is knowne to the Contraremonstrant brethren, that such as Election is on the one part, such Reprobation ought to be on the other part. This is the fountaine of their error; this false beginning hath led aside those acute men into by waies: The respect of Election is one, the respect of Reprobation is farre other. For

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sinne and in fidelity is not a condition required after the same manner in the reprobates, as faith is a con∣dition required in the elect: For sinne is a condition fore-required in reprobates, but faith is a condition following election. Reprobation is made for sinne, but election is made to faith. Sinne is the cause of the appointing to punishment, faith is the effect of electi∣on. God findeth sinne, but worketh faith. Sinne fol∣loweth reprobation onely in the necessity of conse∣quence, but not in the necessity of the consequent: But faith doth follow election both waies. By these things that calumny is abundantly washed off which Arnoldus, Page 228. and in many other places doth sprinkle vpon vs, that we deny that the reprobates are reprobated for sinne.

XVI. It yeeldeth an occasion to the Arminians of falsely accusing vs, because we say, that the decree of reprobation is precise and absolute, nor doe we agree to Arminius, who teacheth that the reprobates in∣deede are not saued, but yet they might be saued, and who denieth that the number of the reprobates is de∣termined by the decree of God. But here is nothing from whence it can be drawne, that reprobation is the cause of sinne, or that any one is reprobated with∣out the beholding of sinne.

XVII. Arnoldus doth carpe at our opinion with certaine little obiections, Page 219. Ye say that the reprobates haue beene excluded of God from saluation in his decree for one sinne, but that they shall be excluded in time for another diuerse sinne. It is a calumny, wee neither thinke nor say it. He doth heape vp the same false accusation, Page 229. and 238. where hee saith

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that men are reprobated, as onely considered in the sinne of Adam.

XVIII. In the same page he doth thus vainely argue: It is not the part of wisedome to be willing that they should hope for good, who are excluded from it by the absolute decree of God. But I deny, that vnbeleeuers and prophane men are excluded from God, by the absolute decree of God, after that manner as you take the word absolute, that is, without respect to their sinnes: Neither doth it fauor of folly to command that they who are excluded from eternall life, by the absolute, that is, by the certaine and ineuitable de∣cree, should contend and aspire to eternall life, seeing that they are therefore excluded from life, be∣cause they haue not aspired to it.

XIX. The same man, Page 226. Ye determine (saith he) that God hath precsely reprobated from salua∣tion, some sinners lying in the fall of Adam, without the consideration of impenitency. Is is a slander: Our Churches doe not beeeue it. The confession of the Churches of France, of England, of the Low-Coun∣tries, doth not say it: Indeede in the decree of repro∣bation is included the will of not giuing faith and fi∣nall repentance to reprobates; but it doth not fol∣low thence, that reprobation is without the conside∣ration of impenitency.

XX. Arnoldus addeth; Your doctrine determines that God doth exact faith from the reprobates, and that he decreed to condemne them if they should not beleeue, when yet it is impossible for them that they should beleeue in Christ with a sure perswasion of minde, not onely because God doth not giue them power of beleeuing, but also because

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if thy were furnished with power to beleeue, yea, if they should beleeue in Christ, they would beleeue that which were false, because Christ hath not died for them: But it is contrary to the iustice of God to exact such an obedience, and then to punish the creature, for not performing such an obedience, which is absolutely impossible to the creature. He doth abundantly repeate the same thing in other places, but especially, Page 261. and 262. Here are many things faise. First, it is false that faith is exacted and required of all the reprobates, for it is required onely of them to whom the Gospell is preached. Neither is it true that faith is absolutely, and without condition required of all those, to whom the Gospell is preached; for it is required vnder a condition, to wit, that they be conuerted and repent: But if they doe not repent, we teach and cry out, that the benefit of Christ doth not pertaine to them; and that they hope and beleeue in Christ in vaine, so long as they are aduerse and contrary to God, inuiting them to repentance: And it is also false, that God is vniust, if he command them to beleeue and obey, who for their inbred deprauation cannot beleeue and obey, and to whom God doth not giue power of beleeuing; for man himselfe hath brought this impotency and disa∣bility on himselfe, and this deprauation, in man, is vo∣luntary; and God exacting from man, that he should beleeue him speaking by Christ, doth require nothing which man doth not owe: For to obey the law is a naturall debt. For God, speaking by Christ, cannot be refused or contemned, but the law also is broken, as we haue already taught at large in many places, especially Chap. 11. Where we haue taught that the

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power of beleeuing was giuen vs in Adam, and that Adam had it before the fall, but an occasion of vsing it was wanting: And therefore also this power was lost in Adam. Nor is God bound to restore it, as Ar∣noldus (setting lawes to God himselfe) would haue it. By these things also we meete with that false accusa∣tion wherewith Arnoldus doth pursue vs, Page 230. Ye determine (saith he) that faith is required of repro∣bates, and yet that the meanes to performe obedience to faith are precisely denyed: For it is not required of all, but of them to whom Christ is made knowne, nor is it required of these absolutely, but with condition of repentance: Neither is any thing required of them although they be reprobates, but what they owe.

XXI. But Arnoldus doth adde to this a foule calumny, wherewith he would odiously buren our cause. Ye will haue (saith he) faith to be required of the reprobates, that they might be made inexcusable, and their damnation might be aggrauated. Wee say indeede that their damnation is thereby made the greater, but we doe not say that this end was propounded by God. So when we say that one goeth forth to warre, that he may be slaine, wee signifie what is to happen, not what end should be intended. And it is not for vs to enquire scrupulously into the end which God pro∣pounded to himselfe. Yet these two ends are certaine, to wit, to require of man what is due, and also by this meane to bring the elect to saluation.

XXII. He doth bend at vs another dart, Page 286. Your doctrine (saith he) doth repugne the Euan∣gelicall threates: For seeing the intent of God in the

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propounding of them is, that men should be driuen from impenitency, and so should be saued. You on the contrary side teach, that God doth deny to some men the meanes that are necessary to repentance, because he hath determi∣ned not to saue them. First, it may be doubted whether there are any Euangelicall threats; for the threatnings which are contayned in the bookes of the Gospell, are not a part of the Gospell. For seeing the word Euangelium, Gospell, doth signifie, a good message, I doe not see how threatnings can belong to a good message: They who beleeue not the Gospell shall be punished, not by the Gospell, but by the law. But howsoeuer it be, I see nothing here which doth re∣pugne these threates, by which God doth intend to require from man that which is due, and that which the law it selfe requireth, to wit, that God be obeyed. Seeing that the denying of grace, and of the restoring of the powers which man by his owne fault lost, doth very well agree with such a declaration of threat∣nings. These things are not repugnant, to propound life to man on the condition of obedience, and not to restore to man those powers of obedience which hee lost by his owne fault.

XXIII. Neither are these things repugnant, to propound life to any one vnder a condition, and to appoint the same man to death for his fore-seene disobedience.

XXIV. The same man since Arminius, Page 269. (for that which he addeth concerning Infants shall hereafter be handled) doth thus inuey against our opinion. Your opinion (saith he) causeth that pub∣like prayers cannot be offered to God, as it is meete they

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should, to wit, with faith and confidence that they shall profit all them that heare the word, because according to your opinion amongst them, there are many, whom God not onely will not haue to be saued, but whom he will haue to be condemned by his absolute, eternall, and immutable will, which goeth before all things and causes: Yet the Apostle commandeth that prayers be made for all men, and addeth this reason, because it is good and accepta∣ble to God, who would haue all men to be saued and come to the knowledge of the truth.

XXV. I answere, that it is falsely supposed by Arminius, that publike prayers ought to be poured out with this confidence, that they shall profit all them that heare the word. This faith were rash, and not resting on the word of God; especially seeing the ministers of the word, haue, for the most part, known many that are disobedient and openly prophane, nor doe they doubt, but that besides these, there are ma∣ny that are sicke, and ill affected with inward and hid∣den vices, who yet make a shew of piety. Certainely the similitude of the seede sowne into diuers ground, and of a differing disposition, and with an vnlike suc∣cesse, doth in this case bring more feare then confi∣dence. And yet because the secrets of reprobation are vnknowne to vs, we doe rightly pray for all, be∣cause we hope well of euery one. I doe not see where∣to this obiection belongs, vnlesse to stop and stay the Reader with a childish declamation, because this very obiection doth no lesse pursue Arminius, who although he will not haue the decree of God to be precise, yet doth confesse, that God doth certainely fore-know who are to be damned. And to confesse this, what is

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it else, then to teach that God is willing that wee should pray for them, whom he certainely knoweth our prayers will not profit? But that which he cast∣eth vpon vs, that we make the decree of reprobation to goe before all things and causes, and therefore also before sinne it selfe, is plainely contrary to our opini∣on.: And if such words haue fallen from any vna∣wares, it is not therfore the opinion of our Churches, we defend those things that are ours, but we doe not warrant other mens.

XXVI. Concerning the place of the Apostle, where hee saith that God would haue all men be sa∣ued, it shall be spoken in his order and place. To will, here, is no other thing then to inuite, and to call: Also by all men, he vnderstandeth, men of euery con∣dition and sort: After the same manner that Titus, 2.11. The grace of Christ is said to bring saluation to all men, when notwithstanding so many perish. This is a token here, of that in the former place it is spoken of kings, in this place of seruants: Their domination was at that time contrary to Christ, and the lot and state of these men, was abiect and base, the Apo∣stle would not hinder that they should not be pray∣ed for, and these are thought such as may be parta∣kers of sauing grace.

XXVII. The Arminians seeme, to themselues, to deale very acutely, when they dispute thus: If there be any one (say they) whose eyes haue beene pulled out for not keeping his watch well, is it a iust thing to com∣mand him that hereafter he should watch and ward? And then if he hath not done it, to lay great punishments vpon him because he hath not watched? I answere, that this is

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an example nothing to the purpose: For they vse the example of one that is blinde, who is not bound to see. But man though he be corrupted and wicked, yet he is bound to obey God, which if hee hath not done, he is iustly punished. Then also they bring an example of one whose eyes were pulled out, hee stri∣uing against it, and being vnwilling: But man brought this deprauation on himselfe, of his owne accord, and was voluntarily euill, and therefore he is iustly punished.


  • Arnold. Page 3.6. Dicat Ar∣minius gratam quaau tas cre∣edida•••• quā∣plurimis, d••••at emmbus cmmu∣nm esse ac pro∣inde ngat gra∣iam esse? Et P 262. Respon∣deo Dum cum nuum loe lus gratia pro enit & cultae admis∣tae remissi nem proit•••• sub no∣ua obedientiae conditione teneri maxi•••• vires 〈◊〉〈◊〉 quibus ••••mo condi tonm stū possit implere, alioqui non pssit udicars st im gratimsincere offerre.

  • Collat. Hag Non potuit se conuer∣tere impeditus sciticet a dinina voluntate.

  • Page 262. in Tileaum.

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