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. XXXV.

The Obiections which the Arminians borrow from the Pe∣lagians and Papists, are answered. Whether an vnre∣generate man doth necessarily sinne; and whether ne∣cessitie excuseth the sinner: Also whether God doth command those things which cannot be performed by man.

I. THese thornes and difficulties being taken away, wee are to come to the Arguments, or rather Declamations, with which they would odiously bur∣den our cause. They say, that by our doctrine, an vnregenerate man doth necessarily sinne, and nothing but sinne: That it is not sinne which is committed necessarily, and cannot be auoided. Armi∣nius against Perkins, pag. 106. The necessity and immuta∣bility of sinning, doth excuse the sinne, and doth free from punishment the committing of that act. And Arnoldus, pag. 188. Necessity doth excuse the sinne. It is in vaine commanded, if it be impossible to be obayed. God,

Page 331

(saith Arnoldus) doth require nothing of vs, to which he doth not giue vs sufficient power: yea, (saith hee) if God should require of man any thing, and should not giue him sufficient power to doe it, he should gather, where he hath not scattered. The same things doth Vorstius reckon vp, pag. 28. Collat in Piscat.

II. This Pelagian Colewort, these Sectaries do again set before vs, and a thousand times they sing one and the same song, which we must needes exactly consi∣der of, although they boast of these things, rather for ostentation and to trouble weake wits, then that they thinke as they say.

III. First, we say that necessity of sinning doth not excuse sinne, if it be voluntary, and if this ne∣cessity be procured by his owne fault. So Arist. Ethic. 3.7. saith, that at the first, vniust and intemperate men had power not to be such; but after that by their owne will they were made such, they cannot but be such; nor are they therefore to be excused: Also he saith, that it is a shamefull thing, if one by his drun∣kennesse, should bring blindnesse vpon himselfe. And if it be so in the vices of the body, into which, when any one hath fallen by his owne fault, hee doth wish he had not fallen into them, and would redeeme it with a great price; how much more is it in the vices of the minde, which seeing they are procured by ha∣bit and generation, are loued by him who is volunta∣rily euill? For herein is placed the greatest part of the disease, that he which is vicious doth loue his vices, and will not be amended; for there is a necessity which is voluntary, and therefore free; Nor is it suffi∣cient, to say that such a necessity is spontaneus, and of a

Page 332

mans owne accord, seeing euen beasts, led by instinct, are carried of their own accord, & without knowledg: but he that is necessarily euill, is euill, not onely of his owne accord, but also voluntarily, because it is with ludgement and knowledge: So God is necessarily good, but yet freely: and Sathan is necessarily euill, but with a most free will; and the Saints in heauen are freely good, and yet necessarily; for it is not credi∣ble, that they haue lost their liberty by their glorifica∣tion: Nor can it be said, that the Saints in heauen therefore cannot sinne, because there is no occasion of sinning, and no temotation; for the Angels be∣fore their fall, had no more occasion of sinning: By the very gifts of God wherewith they were abundant∣ly furnished, they tooke occasion of too much louing themselues, and by it were made more slacke to the contemplation of God, staying in the admiration of themselues; whence came their pride, and from their pride, their rebellion. It must needes be, that the ne∣cessity of the perseuerance of the Saints, doth rest on another foundation, to wit, the election of God; who doth furnish those whom he predestinated from eter∣nity, and gaue to Christ, with gifts and necessary meanes to perseuere in that state, whereunto they were appointed. Further also, there is a certaine visi∣on and beholding of God, to which, when the crea∣ture is admitted, he is necessarily transformed into the likenesse of God; no otherwise then the glasse doth burn at the sunne: Of which vision it is spoken, 1 Iohn 3. We shall be like him, because we shall see him as be is. and Psal. 17.15. Finally, if hee is vniustly pu∣nished who doth sinne necessarily, although he sinne

Page 333

voluntarily, and hath brought vpon himselfe the ne∣cessity of sinning by his owne fault; then he also shall vniustly haue benefits and glory bestowed and hea∣ped on him who cannot sinne, and who is necessarily good; such as we haue proued the Angels and Saints in heauen to be.

IV. Wherefore Saint Austin in many places hath not doubted to say, that there is in man a necessity of sinning; So Disput. 2. contra Fortunat. After that man sinned by his free will, wee who discended from his stocke, are necessarily fallen into a necessity of sinning. And in his booke, de perfect. iustitiae. Ratio. 9. Because the will sinned, there followed the sinner a hard and forcible necessity of sinning. Arminius differeth from him, whose words against Perkins, Page 106. are these: It is impossible that that which one doth freely, he should doe necessarily. Yea, Page 144. he is bold to pronounce, that God by all his omnpotency cannot make that that which is done necessarily, should be done free∣ly: For it is familiar to this man, as to make lawes to Gods iustice, so to set bounds to his omni∣potency.

And if God is necessarily good and not freely, as Arminius is of opinion, and it be farre more excel∣lent to be good freely then not freely, without doubt man shall be better then God, and the blasphemy of Seneca is to be subscribed to, who in his 53. Epistle saith, that a wise man doth goe before God himselfe, because man is wise by the benefit of nature, but God by his owne. Therefore as God is freely good, and yet cannot but be good; and as Satan is necessarily euill, but yet freely and voluntarily, so also a man

Page 334

that is dead in sinne, doth necessarily sinne, but yet voluntarily, and therefore freely.

V. In which thing, so great is the force of truth, that it often falleth from them vnawares; for Arnol∣dus eyther vnwittingly or else on purpose, doth ac∣knowledge this necessity of sinning, Page 394. where, according to Arminius, he saith, That man, vnder the state of sinne, can vnderstand, will, or doe nothing that is good: And hence it is that he doth necessarily sinne, on∣lesse God gratiously take away that necessity. He doth ther∣fore confesse that man sinneth necessarily, before God taketh away that necessity of sinning; and that man sinneth necessarily, euen then when he sinneth freely. For (as Arminius confesseth) it were not sinne, vn∣lesse he sinned freely. But perhaps Arminius and Ar∣noldus are of opinion, that God taketh that necessity of sinning from all men: Let vs therefore heare what Arnoldus in the same place doth adde: Armi∣nius (saith he) doth determine that God is prepared, for his part, to take away that necessity of sinning. In which words he doth not obscurely confesse that God doth not take that necessity from all, but that he is prepa∣red to take it away, if themselues will; but that hee doth not take it away from all, is our owne fault; as Arnoldus himselfe doth acknowledge, Page 398. The same man, Page 399. according to Arminius doth say, That God by little and little, by the grace of his spirit, doth free men from this necessity of sinning: It is not there∣fore presently taken away; yea it remaineth alwaies in them in whom the grace of the holy Ghost, eyther doth not worke, or doth not preuaile. The same man, Page 406. doth acknowledge that there is in

Page 335

man an impotency and disability of resisting sinne, and this impotency, what is it else then the necessity of sinning.

VI. Nay, more then this, the Arminians doe say, that God doth vnresistably harden some men? For I vse their owne words. Now there is nothing more euident, then that he doth necessarily sinne, who is vnresistably hardned: We haue therefore the con∣fession of these Sectaries, that there are some who sinne necessarily, and whom the necessity of sinning doth not excuse from their sinne, because they haue contracted this necessity to themselues by their owne fault.

VII. It is a meruaile therefore that the Armini∣ans, who are otherwise ingenious, doe stumble at this straw, and had rather patronize and maintaine Pela∣gius, and borrow weapons from him, then yeelde to the Scripture, and to the euidence of truth: For af∣ter the same manner doth Caelestius, a Pelagian, dis∣pute, in Saint Austins booke, de perfect iustitiae-Ratio. 2. Againe (saith hee) it is demanded, whether sinne be of the will, or of necessity? If of necessity, it is not sinne: If of the will, it may be auoided. In Arminius therefore we haue Pelagius raised to life againe.

VIII. We determine therefore, that the necessi∣ty of sinne doth excuse from sinne, if he that sinneth hath not procured this necessity of sinning by his owne fault. As also if by necessity, constraint and a greater force of the outward agent be vnderstood, or a naturall necessity appointed to some one thing by the creator, and being voide of knowledge, such as is the naturall inclination of heauy things to the center

Page 336

of the earth. But necessity doth not excuse sinne, if he that sinneth hath procured on himselfe that neces∣sity of sinning, and if hee sinneth wittingly and willingly, and is delighted with that inclination to sinne.

IX. And that which the Sectaries say, that there is no place for punishment, if man want the liberty of his free-will, may be admitted, if by libertie of free-will be vnderstood, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that which is of ones owne accord; In which sence many of the an∣cients, especially before Saint Austin, doe defend the liberty of free-will: For, whosoeuer sinneth, sin∣neth of his owne accord. But if by the liberty of free∣will be vnderstood, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, an inclination, which is alike free, eyther to good or to euill, in those things which belong to faith and saluation, I constantly af∣firme, that man is worthy of punishment, although he want this liberty. It is sufficient to punishment, that he doth not onely sinne of his owne accord, but also voluntarily, and that hee himselfe is the cause of his necessity of sinning, and that hee doth ap∣plaude and please himselfe in this voluntary neces∣sitie.

X. Yet the Arminians doe obstinately persist, and doe maintaine, that it is in vaine commanded, if we baue not power to obey: That exhortations, promises, threats, and counsells are in vaine, if none of them can be neither perceiued nor performed by man; for that were as much as if a song should be sung to a deafe man; or as if one should command a blinde man to see; or one that is fettered to runne; or as if one should thus speake to the dry bones of

Page 337

them that are dead, be ye conuerted, be ye conuerted, and see. This is an old obiection of the Pelagians, as may be seene in Saint Austin, lib. de perfect. iustitiae. Rat 6. & 11. Where Caelestius the Pelagian doth thus dispute: Againe, it is demanded, whether man be commanded to be without sinne: For eyther hee cannot, and it is not com∣manded, or because it is commanded hee can: For why should that be commanded, which cannot at all be done? And Rat. 11. Certainely all those things which are forbid∣den, can as well be auoided, as those things which are com∣manded can be done: For that in vaine would be forbidden or commanded, which cannot be auoided nor fulfilled. Here is very starke Arminianisme. Caelestius tooke this argu∣ment from Cicero, as Saint Austin witnesseth, lib. 5. de ciuitate Dei, Cap. 9. where hee saith, That Cicero whilest by the denying of the fore-knowledge of God hee would make men free, made them sacri∣legious.

XI. I answere to these things, that precepts, threates, and counsels, &c. are in vaine, if man wan∣ted the faculty of vnderstanding, and of willing or nilling something of his owne accord, and with rea∣son and iudgement. But an vnregenerate man is in∣dued with vnderstanding, and hath a will which is moued of its owne accord and incitation, and after fore-going knowledge and practicall iudgement. Nor is it alwaies true, that those precepts are giuen in vaine which cannot be fulfilled: For the intemperate man, who by custome hath brought on himselfe insensiblenesse, and cannot temper himselfe from lust and surfeiting, is yet tyed by the lawes of sobrietie and temperance. Neither is it any doubt, but that

Page 338

the diuell, who is necessarily euill, and vnfit to yeelde obedience to God, is bound to obey God; for other∣wise he should not sinne in being an enemy to God: So from a debtor, which hath consumed at dice a great some of money which he tooke vp at vse, that which he oweth is not in vaine nor vniustly required, nor can the creditor lose his right by the wickednesse of the debtor. Seeing therefore, that man by his owne fault procured on himselfe the disability of performing that which God would haue done, God doth not vainely and vniustly require from him the obedience which he oweth: For it is not equall that the sinne of man should profit him, and that there∣fore he should be lawlesse, because he corrupted him∣selfe with his owne wickednesse, and brought vpon himselfe the disability of paying to God the debt of nature, which God doth require of man, considered not as a sinner, nor yet as iust, but simply as hee is a debtor, and in as much as he is a creature subiect and bound to obedience. After the same manner, that a creditour requiring his debt, doth not consider the debtor as he is poore, or as he is rich, but simply as he is a debtor: God making his law, doth consider man after this manner, and so he doth consider him, when he doth adde promises and threates to the Law, saying, Doe this, and thou shalt liue. And choose good, that thou maist liue, &c. And make ye a new heart, for why will ye die O house of Israell? Ezech. 18. He is deceiued, surely he is deceiued; who thinketh that the comman∣dements of God are the measure of our strength, see∣ing they are the rule of our dutie: For in the law we doe not learne what we are able to doe, but what wee

Page 339

ought to doe; nor what now we are able, but what heretofore we were able to doe, and from what a height of iustice we fell by the fall of Adam.

XII. The Scripture doth supply most forcible proofes for this thing. Saint Paul, Philip. 2.12. doth command vs to worke out our saluation with feare and trembling; but presently after lest it should be thought that this can be performed by vs, because it is commanded, he doth adde; It is God which worketh in you both to will and to doe, of his good pleasure. Thus Ezech. 18.31. Make you a new heart, and a new spirit. But lest any should thinke that this is a thing of our free-will, in the thirty sixt Chapter of the same Pro∣phecy, God speaketh thus: I will take away the stony heart out of you, flesh, and giue you a new heart. Thus Ioel 11. Be ye conuerted to mee with your whole heart; yet Ieremy, Chap. 31.18. doth acknowledge that the conuersion of a sinner is the gift of God; Turne mee O Lord, and I shall be turned. And the last of the La∣mentations, Turne vs O Lord, and we shall be turned. So Deut. 10.16. God doth thus speake to the people: Circumcise the fore-skinne of your heart; yet Chapter 30.6. it is declared who doth worke it: The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart. Thus Christ, Iohn 14.1. commands vs to beleeue in him, and yet hee saith, no man can come to him, except the father draw him, Iohn 6 44. and that by comming hee meaneth belee∣uing, he himselfe teacheth, v. 35. He that commeth to me shall not hunger, and he that beleeueth in me shall ne∣uer thirst. And, Phil. 1. Ephes. 2. wee are taught that faith, and the act of beleeuing is from God. Finally, the Scripture will haue men to gaine their bread by

Page 340

the sweat and labour of their hands, and yet neuer∣thelesse, wee are commanded to aske our daily bread of God, because the foode of the body, is the gift of God, but that which hee doth giue to him that wor∣keth: For the blessing of God doth not come on idlenesse, but on labour. That I may not say many things: Doth not God require perfect obedience from the vnregenerate? Yes, and from the heathen, to whom Christ was neuer knowne: And yet if one should say that they might be perfectly iust, and alto∣gether without sinne, he should attribute that to vn∣beleeuers, which neuer happened to any faithfull man. Doth not Arminius himselfe acknowledge that some are vnresistably hardned, from whom yet God doth require perfect obedience?

XIII. Neither doth God therefore command in vaine, or are his precepts to no purpose: For God in commanding, exhorting, threatning, &c. doth af∣fect man with the sence of his sinne; hee doth teach man his debt; what once hee could doe, and whence he fell: Also he doth propound a rule of iustice, lest any one should pretend ignorance for his sinnes: Fi∣nally, he doth ioyne to his word the efficacy of the spirit, and he doth, as it were, arme and head it, and make it sharpe and effectuall. It is not in vaine to command him that is fettered to runne, if by that commandement his fetters are loosed. It is not in vaine to command a blinde man to see, if by those words wherewith this is commanded, the eyes of him that is blinde are opened: For the words of God doe work that in vs, which they command vs to do: They doe so command that they doe also worke; as his

Page 341

words in the creation: God commandeth that which he would haue done, but hee giueth also that which he commandeth: and it is profitable for man to be pressed downe with the intollerable burthen of the Law, which doth exceede his strength, that he might the more couetously embrace the remedies offred in Christ. Excellently to this purpose Saint Austin, lib. de corrept. & gratia. cap. 3. O man, in the commandement know what thou oughtest to doe: in the word of correction and reproofe, know that by thine owne fault thou hast not that thou oughtest to haue: in prayer, know whence thou mayest receiue what thou wouldst haue. And in his booke, de spiritu & litera. God doth not measure his precepts by the strength of man, but where he commands that which is right, hee doth freely giue to his elect ability of fulfil∣ling it.

XIV. The similitudes which these Sectaries vse to procure enuie to vs, are plainly contrary, and no∣thing to the purpose: They say, it is to no purpose to blame the blinde man, because he doth not see, al∣though he hath pulled out his owne eyes; or to vrge him to worke, who hath cut off his owne hands. Con∣cerning him that is blinde, I answere, that this exam∣ple is brought by them vnproperly; for no blinde man, whether he is blinde by his owne fault, or by anothers, is bound to see: But hee that by his owne fault, is made wicked, and vnable to obey God, is yet bound to obey him: No man is bound to exercise na∣turall functions after they haue ceased; but the bond whereby the creature is bound to the Creator, can be wiped out by no occasion, much lesse by the wicked∣nesse of man. But if any blinde man, had rather be

Page 342

blinde, then see, and should refuse the remedies offred, should he not iustly be blamed? Such is the condition of man in the state of sinne; for he is not onely necessa∣rily euill, but he will not be good, and he is delighted with his wickednesse.

XV. The similitude of him who hath willingly cut off his owne hands, hath the same defects; Where∣vnto this is to be added; that the hands may be cut off, but the will, which is here signified by the hands, cannot be cut off: For euery most wicked man, is en∣dued with a will, by which hee is alwayes bound to worship and loue God, although he hath corrupted it. Finally, the similitudes of naturall and ciuill things, are for the most part very vnfitly and absurdly drawn to morall things, and to religion. By the like reason, that ridiculous similitude of a man speaking to dry bones is disolued; for these bones are not bound to moue themselues, but an vnregenerate man is bound to beleeue, and to obey.

XVI. Arnoldus, page 136. hath these words; We see (saith hee) that the Scripture doth often say, that he which doth beleeue and is conuerted, doth seperate him∣selfe from euill, doth purge, quicken, sanctifie, saue, and circumcise himselfe, doth make him a new heart, doth put on the new man, &c. Whence hee doth gather, that it may be said, that man doth seperate himselfe, although the Apostle saith, Who seperateth thee? vnderstanding none but God. The places noted in the margent, where∣by the proueth these things, are these, Ezech. 18.31. Make you a new heart, and a new spirit. Iam. 1.27 Pure religion, is to keepe himselfe vnspotted from the world. 1 Pet. 1.22. Wee are commanded to purifie our soules.

Page 343

2 Tim. 2.21. If any one purge himselfe, he shall be a vessell vnto honour, sanctified, &c. Luke 17.33. Whosoeuer shall loose his life, shall preserue it. Deut. 10.16. Circumcise the fore-skinne of your heart. All which places are besides the purpose, for they doe not say, that which Arnol∣dus doth apply to them, to wit, that these things are done by vs, but they onely commanded them to be done: and I meruaile how so great a negligence hath crept on a man of a sharpe and acute wit: Yea, if these places should say that man gaue himselfe a new heart, that he did sanctifie, and quicken, and saue himselfe, yet it would not thence follow, that these things are done by our free-will; for it is familiar to the Scrip∣ture to say, that those are done by vs, which God doth worke by vs: Thus man openeth to God, knock∣ing, Reuel. 2.20. Thus the Apostles raised the dead: Thus the Pastors of the Church forgiue sins, Mat. 18. Iohn 21. Thus they saue soules, 1 Tim. 4.16. When yet without wickednesse, they cannot arrogate to themselues the title of the Sauiour of soules.

XVII. And whether this doctrine tendeth of the concurrence of free-will with grace, and of the facul∣ty whereby man may beleeue, & vse grace if he will, or not beleeue & refuse grace, and the totall cause of faith is assigned not to grace alone, but to grace with free∣will; whether, I say, this doctrine, drawne out of the ditches and puddles of the Semipelagians, doth tend, it is easie to know: For it tendeth thither, that mans merits might closely be brought in, as it were by vn∣dermining wayes: For a though these Sectaries doe at the first view, seeme to beare a hatred to merits, yet in many places, they doe establish them. The Epistle

Page 344

against the Walachrians, hath these words, pag. 44. Those whom God calleth, and to whom he doth before hand vouchsafe the grace of preaching, we confesse for the most part, to be such men, that their vertues doe deserue no lesse then this free bestowing of gifts. Behold then, some men who deserue the bestowing of the gifts of God, and that before regeneration. Arnoldus, pag. 328. God giueth to the creature, performing obedience, that which is theirs of due. Arminius against Perkins, pag. 218. God, of his promise, and of due debt, doth giue life to him that worketh. And Arnoldus, pag. 433. doth speake of some, who by the helpe of grace, doe not make themselues vnworthy, and doe not deserue that the spirit should cease to worke in them.

XVIII. It liketh me well, for a corollary, to set downe here the famous sentence of Saint Austin, ad Simplicium, quest. 2. This is manifest, that we will in vaine vnlesse God shew mercy; but I doe not know how it can be said, that God sheweth mercy in vaine, vnlesse we doe will; for if God hath mercy, we are willing, because it belongeth to that mercy, that we should be willing: for it is God that doth worke in vs to will and to doe, of his good will. And in the same place; The effect of the mercy of God cannot be in the power of man, that he should in vaine haue mer∣cy, if man be vnwilling, because if he will haue mercy on them, he can call them after that manner that is fit for them that they should be moued, and vnderstand, and follow.

Notes

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