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
Author
Du Moulin, Pierre, 1568-1658.
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London :: Printed by T[homas] S[nodham] for Nathaniel Newbery, and are to be sold at the signe of the Starre vnder Saint Peters Church in Cornehill, and in Popes head Alley,
1620.
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Subject terms
Synod of Dort (1618-1619) -- Early works to 1800.
Arminianism -- Early works to 1800.
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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. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A69245.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 26, 2024.

Pages

CHAP. III.

What the prouidence of God is. How farre it extends. That God is not the author of sinne. What permission is. And what blinding and hardening is.

I. PRouidence is a diuine vertue, the gouer∣nesse of all things, by which God hath fore-knowne and fore-ordained from eternity, both the ends of all things, and the meanes tending to those ends.

II. All things being present to God, there is no∣thing which from eternity he hath not foreseene: But whether hee hath made a peculiar decree for all seue∣rall euents, it may be doubted. For it doth not seeme likely that God, from eternity, hath decreed, how many eares of Corne shall grow in the Neapolitan or any other field; or how many shreds hang on the torne beggars coate, or couering: Because these things haue no respect of good or euill, neither doe they adde to the glory of God, or protection of the world: And therefore Thomas is of opinion, That by the decree of God the number of men is determined, but not the number of Gnats or Wormes. Not that those lit∣tle things doe escape rhe knowledge of God, or that God cannot extend his prouidence to them, but be∣cause it doth not seem conuenient to his so great wis∣dome, to decree any thing which doth adde nothing

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to his glory, or to the protection of the vniuerse. Surely God hath, from eternity, fore-knowne all things, euen those that are least: But hee hath onely pre-ordained and decreed those things which haue in them some matter of good, and whereby the glory of God is made more illustrious, or the world more perfect.

III. The will of God cannot bee resisted. Rom. 9.20. God speaketh of himselfe. Esay. 46.10. My Counsell shall stand, and I will doe all my pleasure. And Saint Paul. Ephes. 1. God hath made all things according to the purpose of his Will. This doth not please Arminius: For he in his booke against Perkins, the 60. page, is of opinion, that God may make frustrate that particular end which hee hath propounded to himse fe; and page 198. doth thinke that the antecedent will of God may be resisted: But how truely, we shall hereafter see.

IV. God is in no wise the author, or instigator of sin. Psal. 5.5. Ps. 45.8. For God is not onely iust, but also iustice it selfe: And it is as impossible that hee who is iustice it selfe should sinne, or be the author of sinne, as that whitenesse should blacke the wall, or heate make one cold. Neither doth God onely doe the thing that is iust, but therefore the thing is iust, because God doeth it. And surely that idle deuise of some, is to be hissed out, who say, that God, though he doth enforce men to sinne, yet himselfe doth not sin; because there is no sin where there is no law, and God is bound by no laws. I confesse indeed that God is obnoxious to no Law: And yet it is certaine, that hee can doe nothing that is contrary to his owne

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Nature. God cannot lie, because hee is truth it selfe. God cannot sinne, because he is perfect righteousnesse it selfe. These speeches, that sinne is committed ey∣ther by Gods procuring or furthering, are altogether to be rooted out of diuinity.

V. Man by his owne fault hath brought destructi∣on to himselfe, neither can the fall of man be imputed to God. Thy destruction, O Israell, is from thy selfe; but in mee is thy helpe. Hosea 12.9.10. As in the gene∣ration of the Infant, the sunne and man doe worke together; yet if a monster be generated, it is not a∣scribed to the sunne, but to man: For therefore is the monster bred, because through the defect of the organs, or the euill affection of the matter, the vni∣uersall agent cause is withdrawne from the accusto∣med course. Euen so to humane actions, God and mans will doe concurre, yet if any euill bee in the action, it ought not to be ascribed to God, but to the disposition of mans will.

VI. And yet the Scripture doth sometimes vse those phrases of speech, which doe yeeld occasion to the prophane, of imputing their sinnes to God, as be∣ing committed by his will and incitation. It is well knowne with how great wickednesse, the sonnes of Iacob, moued with enuy, sold their brother Ioseph: Of this fact Ioseph himselfe thus speaketh. Genes. 0. Yee indeede thought euill against mee, but God meant it vnto good, that hee might saue much people aliue. As if GOD had beene the authour of this fact. The Scripture saith of the sonnes of Samuel, that they did not obey their fathers admonitions, because God would slay them. 1. Samuel 2.25. And 1. King. 2. the

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malignant spirit sets himselfe before the tribunall of God, and offers to God his seruice, to deceiue the Prophets: To whom God said, Thou shalt deceiue, and thou shalt preuaile: Goe forth, and doe so. Shemei curseth Dauid with foule imprecations. 2. Samuel 26. which Dauid receiues as done by the incitation of God. Let him curse (saith hee) for God hath said vnto him; Curse Dauid. Very grieuous calamities followed Dauids adultery with Bathsheba, and his murther of Vrias, by the rebellion of his sonne Absalon, who droue his father from his kingdome, and openly a∣bused his wiues. Nathan, sent to Dauid from God, doth declare how these things came to passe, in these wordes: Thou didst this secretly, but I will doe these things before all Israell. 2. Sam. 12. Satan afflicted Iob, the Chaldees steale away his goods; what saith this seruant of God to these things? The Lord (saith hee) hath giuen, and the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord. In the fourth Chapter of the Acts, Saint Peter saith thus: Against thy holy childe Iesus, whom thou hast annointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, and the Gentiles, and the people of Israell, are assembled together, to doe whatsoeuer thy hand and thy counsell haue determined before to bee done. Saint Paule, in his first chapter of the Epistle of the Romans, speaking of the people that were worshippers of Idols, and were giuen ouer to all wickednesse, saith, that God gaue them vp to vile and wicked affections, that they might doe these enormious things. God himselfe doth witnesse, Exod. 10. & Rom. 9. That he hardned Pharaohs hart. Finally who doth not tremble at these words of God which are set downe in the sixt

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Chap. of Esay. Make the hart of this people fat, and make their eares heauy, and shut their eyes: Least they see with their eyes, and heare with their eares, and vnderstand with their hearts, and so conuert and be healed.

Least any prophane person should abuse these things, to the vnloosing of the claspe of intemperan∣cy; and least any whose heart is hardned against the word of God, should impute the hardnesse of it to God, who cannot be resisted. As that yong man in Plautus, thus excusing himselfe; Deus mihi impulsor fuit: God was an incitor to me, it was he drew mee to her: therefore some things are to be set downe wher∣by this question may be cleered, and the truth may be brought out of this darkenesse.

VII. Before all other things wee admonish, that the middle way be kept betweene the two extreames. One whereof is, to make God the authour of sinne; the other is to assigne any thing to be done, God be∣ing vnwilling, ignorant, or not regarding, as if sitting in a watch-tower he did expect casuall euents depen∣ding vpon chance, or vpon mans pleasure. Let him runne into neither of these, who would acknowledge the prouidence of God without damage of his iustice, not fathering his sinnes vpon him, and would not call in ignorance or neglect of things in God, for the de∣fence of his iustice.

VIII. First therefore, it must be graunted that sinne is not committed without Gods permission: Neither ought this word of permitting offend any one as if it derogated from the care and prouidence of God, seeing Saint Paul himselfe in the 14. chapter of

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the Acts doth vse this word; where he saith to the men of Lycaonia, God in times past suffered all nati∣ons to walke in their owne wayes; therefore God suf∣fered sinne. To permit sinne is, not to hinder it when thou canst: thence it comes to passe that there are so many meanes of permitting sinne, as of hindring it. God doth hinder sinne two manner of wayes; either by his Iustice, or by his Power. By his Iustice he hin∣dereth sinne, by commanding, by forbidding, by ad∣monishing, by threatning, and by promising. By his power he doth hinder it, when he doth take away a∣bility, or remoue the occasion of sinning, or by the efficacy of his spirit, doth change and encline to piety our wils that are prone to sin. The former is a morall impediment, the latter a naturall, or euen a supernatu∣rall. According to these meanes of hindering sinne, the meanes of permitting it are also diuers: For God doth permit sinne either by vnloosing the Law, and giuing liberty of sinning; or by not drawing away the ability of sinning, which might hinder men from sinning in act. After the former manner God doth neuer permit sinne: after the latter manner he doth permit it; which he doth in not hindring that man should assay it; and in not giuing a certaine succour and measure of his grace, which if it were present, the sinne might be preuented.

IX. This permission is a certaine act of the diuine will, seeing it is voluntary; for God doth nothing vnwitting or vnwilling: God therefore permits sinne, because he will permit it; neither had he permitted it, if it had not beene good that it should be permit∣ted: for if there were not euill, it would not be known

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what is good: euen as we should not know what light were, vnlesse there were a night; neither had his iu∣stice (whereby he punisheth, nor his mercy whereby he pardoneth) beene made knowne, nor his wise∣dome, whereby he can draw good out of euill; nor his infinite loue, whereby hee sent his sonne into the world that he might die for vs; not that God doth stand in neede of our wickednesse to illustrate his glo∣ry, but because, otherwise, man could not come to that full felicity to which hee was created. For God cannot be perfectly knowne, and therefore not per∣fectly loued, so long as his iustice and mercy is vn∣knowne: So that by the very fall of man, God hath framed to man, a step to a more perfect condition; and although in the respect of many particular per∣sons which perish, it might haue beene wished that man had not sinned, yet in respect of the vniuersall good, whereof regard is rather to be had, God ought not to haue vsed his power to haue hindred sinne, that it might not haue beene committed.

X. Furthermore, although God doth permit the Diuels and men to sinne, yet doth hee not so let loose the reynes to them, but that they are held fast bound by the bonds of his prouidence, and whilest they wan∣der out of the path of righteousnesse, they are yet in∣cluded within the limits of his prouidence, that they should not hurt them whom God loues: For al∣though mans will hath corrupted it selfe; yet is not therefore the gouernment of God diminished, to which the willes of men are subiect, how much soeuer they are aduerse to his commandement, and driuen with the spirit of rebellion doe gnash their teeth against his gouernment.

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XI. The principall faculties of the soule are two, the Vnderstanding, and the Will; the one by which man knoweth, and the other by which hee moues himselfe. By the vnderstanding, we are learned or vn∣learned, by the will, we are eyther good or euill. That which in the vnderstanding is to affirme or deny, that in the will, is to desire or to refuse. God doth not put wicked desires into the minde: but he doth often cast darknes into the mind, and in his iust iudgement doth blinde the vnderstanding, striking the rebells with a giddinesse, and making them drunke with the spirit of sleepe; yea truely, no otherwise then the master doth iustly blow out his seruants candle, which by night he doth abuse at dice: So God doth take away the light of his knowledge, when man doth abuse it to the contempt of God, and to the liberty of sinning. Howbeit, God hauing taken away this light, the er∣ring will doth stumble, and grieuously offend; but hardnesse of heart doth, of it selfe, follow this blind∣nesse of minde. For Saint Iohn ioyneth these together as hanging one vpon another. Chap. 12.40. God hath blinded their eyes, and hardned their hearts. By this meanes latter sinnes, are made the punishment of for∣mer sinnes; as Saint Austin teacheth at large in his fift booke against Iulian. Chap. 3. For by the very same thing, whereby man by his latter sinnes is made more wic∣ked, by the same he is also made more miserable: Not that sinne is sent from God as a punishment, but because God doth vse for a punishment that sinne which is not from him. And hence doth that doctrine of a bare and carelesse permission vanish; because a iudge doth not punish by a carelesse permission; but

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by decreeing or iudging according to iustice.

XII. The subministration, and furnishing of the outward meanes of saluation, such as are the word and sacraments doe also worke to this obduration, and hardnesse of heart. For vnlesse God moue the heart by the powerfull grace of his spirit, mans wic∣kednesse is more stirred vp by those outward helpes, and hauing cast off this troublesome yoake, he is carri∣ed through by-waies, and doth violently throw down himselfe with greater ruine: And then is fulfilled that which is said in the 81. Psalme. I gaue them vp to their owne hearts lusts, that they might walke in their owne counsells. But yet, that you might know that this hardnesse of heart doth proceede from man himselfe; the Scripture doth not onely say, that God hardned Pharaohs heart: but Pharaoh himselfe is said to haue hardend his owne heart. Exod, 8.15. Ney∣ther is that of Saint Paule, Rom. 1. any otherwise to be vnderstood; That God deliuereth ouer the wicked 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to a reprobate minde and vile affecti∣ons: For this reprobate minde, these vile affections are not put into the wicked by God, but they being in the vngodly, God hauing put out his light, doth suf∣fer these vile affections to exercise their authority o∣uer them; as Thomas teacheth. Lib. 2. Quest. 79. Art. 1.

XIII. Furthermore, they are two sorts of them whose hearts are hardned; for besides that hardnesse of heart which is common to all the reprobates, whereby a man is left to himselfe, whence it com∣meth that hee doth alwaies grow worse, there are some that are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 men of a high ranke of wicked∣nesse, whom God doth deliuer to Sathan with a

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peculiar and extraordinary vengeance; such as were Pharaoh, Saul and Iudas.

XIV. Euery positiue being doth depend vpon God as vpon the first and principall entity, neither can the creature moue it selfe without the assistance and sustentation of God: For by him we liue, and moue, and haue our bring, Acts 17. Neither doth he onely worke by influence into the creatures, or assist them by a generall power and influence, but also by his pe∣culiar assistance, by which he doth sustaine and direct seuerall actions. The euents which follow of seuerall actions doe declare this, which he doth witnesse, doe not happen by chance, but of his purpose, God so wil∣ling: If an Axe falling out of the hand of him that cutteth wood, doth kill one that passeth by, God doth affirme that it was done by him. The Lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord, Pro. 16.33.

XV. Furthermore, although God by his concur∣rence, doth giue his influence into humane actions, sustayning the agent, and directing the actions, setting bounds to them, ordering the euents, and drawing good out of euill; yet must it not therefore be thought that God doth instigate to euill actions, or to haue forced Eue to the eating of the forbidden tree. To the clearing of which assertion, we say that God doth not onely worke by the creature, but also worke with the creature; both God and the creature are concurrent causes to one 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to the bringing forth of one effect; and these two taken together, are the totall cause of any action: which creature, if it doth worke voluntary, may by his concurrence pol∣lute the action wherein there is the concurrence of

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God, and determinate it to euill: By this meanes the whole fault doth remaine with the creature. For God effectually infusing into the creature, doth not take away from it the free contribution of its owne power. If man sinneth any thing in an humane action, the concurrence of God is naturall, but the concur∣rence of the creature is morall: whatsoeuer was na∣turall in the eating of the forbidden Apple was from God; whatsoeuer was morall and straying from the path of iustice, was from man. As God doth giue to a lame liuing creature the power of going, yet is not his lamenesse from God; so though God doth giue to man the faculty of willing, and doth sustaine the na∣turall motion of the will, and the act of willing; yet if any euill come which doth defile that act, it must not be said to be from God: Man is the effector of sinne, God the permitter. That act in which there is deformity, is naturally good, in as much as it is from God: but morally euill, in as much as it is from man. The action in which the sinne is, is one thing, the deformity of the action in which formally the sinne is, is another thing. To the action it selfe God doth concurre with man, but not to the sinne.

XVI. Neither is God to be blamed that he doth concurre with the creature, which hee knoweth will abuse his concurrence and assistance to sinning: For mans vice cannot straighten the limits of Gods pow∣er, nor dissolue that eternall law, by which the whole frame of nature doth stand, nor pull away that natu∣rall necessity, whereby the creature cannot moue it selfe, without the assistance of God. So the Soule although it knowes that the body will abuse her

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mouing power to halting, doth not keep back her mo∣uing force, or abstaine from the motion of the body. Neither will therefore the power of God be diminish∣ed in naturall things, or his influence cease, because in morall things, the will of man is disobedient to the law of God: Yea, God cannot require obedience from the creature, vnlesse he should sustaine it, and giue to it power of mouing it selfe.

XVII. As the Sunne is not the cause of darke∣nesse, although darkenesse doth necessarily follow the absence of it: So God seeing he is the most exact iu∣stice, is not the cause of sinne, although inordinate affections, blindenesse of minde, & the prauity of the will, doe necessarily follow the deniall of the grace of God. This is their meaning, which say, that God is not the efficient, but the deficient cause of sin: Yet I could wish men would abstaine from this kinde of speaking.

XVIII. Although wicked men doe worke freely, and of their owne motion are carried to sinne, God not alluring nor forcing them: yet it is certaine, that the euents which doe follow thence are directed and gouerned by Gods prouidence. For as the downefall of the running water, inclining to the lower parts, may be turned, the channell being guided by the di∣ligence of the conueyor: so although wicked men of their owne disposition are prone to sinne, yet by the prouidence of God and his secret counsell, they are inclined to commit this sinne rather then that, that they may serue the execution of the iudgements of God, when he will vse them either to punish any ones wickednesse, or to try the faith of the godly, or to stirre vp their sloathfulnesse. This similitude Salo∣mon

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doth vse, Prou. 21. The heart of the King is in the hand of the Lord, as the riuers of waters, and hee turnes it whether he will. By this meanes as Saint Peter saith, Act. 4. The wicked doe whatsoeuer things the hand of God and his purpose had determined to be done. Hence it is that God saith, Esay 5. that hee will whistle for the remote nations, to say waste Iudea. And Chap. 10. hee cals Ashur the rod of his wrath. Ieroboam seekes after nouelties, and doth practise a reuolting from Salo∣mon; Ahias the Prophet sent from God, doth declare to him the euent of this attempt: God did not instill this rebellion into his heart, which was before con∣ceiued; but hardned his minde, which was already e∣uill, to the daring this wicked attempt, that he might vse the wicked man to punish the sinnes of Salomon and Rehoboam.

As therefore Horse-leaches applyed to the parts of a sicke man, while they satisfie their owne gorge, doe performe the intent of the Physitian: so wicked men, whilest they rage against good men, besides their owne intention, they further the purpose of God: as Esay teacheth in his tenth Chapter; where God saith that hee had decreed to vse the King of Assiria to pu∣nish the hypocrisie of Israel, but that this minde was not in the King, being led onely by ambition and de∣sire of prey: Thus God vsed the wickednesse of the brethren of Ioseph to keepe famine from his people: and the treason of Iudas, for the death of Christ, and by it, for our redemption; and the ambition of Au∣gustus Caesar taxing the whole Empire, for the bring∣ing of Mary out of Galile to Bethlehem, that there shee might be deliuered, and so the prophesie of Michai be

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fulfilled. Euen they which resist the commande∣ment of God, helpe forward his prouidence, and like Rowers which set their backes that way which they goe. God by the folly of men, doth worke the purpo∣ses of his wisedome; he doth vse vniust men to the ex∣ercising of his iustice: as if one with a crooked staffe should strike a straight blow.

XIX. Whensoeuer God letting loose the reines to Sathan, doth permit him to tempt any man, Sa∣than truely may allure the appetite by propounding Obiects, or trouble the phantasie by the alterati∣on of the humours of the body, but he cannot com∣pell the will; otherwise the man should not sinne but Sathan: Neither could God iustly punish a man for sinne, to which hee had beene compelled by an outward cause, without his owne inclination.

XX. But because God, when hee would auenge the contumacy of his enemies, or punish the sinnes of his owne, doth sometimes vse Sathan as his mini∣ster; the holy Scripture doth attribute one and the same euent both to God and to Sathan. So 1 Sam. 16. the euill spirit troubling Saul, is said to be from God. and 1 Chro. 21. Sathan is said to haue rose vp against Israel, and to haue stirred vp Dauid to number the people; and 2 Sam. 24. it is attributed to God. There God is to be considered as a iust iudge, and Sathan as an incitour of the wickednesse.

By these instructions well conceiued, the way of exusing Saint Austen will easily be found, from whom sometimes there fall some speeches which trouble tender eares, if they be not moderated with a fit interpretation; such is that which he saith of Shemei

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cursing Dauid, in his Booke de Gratia & libero arbitrio. Cap. 20. What wise man doth vnderstand how the Lord said to this man, Curse Dauid? For he did not bid him by commanding him, that his obedience should be praised; bu because God inclined his will, which by his owne pro∣per vice was euill, to this sinne, by his iust and secret iudge∣ment, and therefore is it said, the Lord bid him. And Cap. 22. God worketh in the hearts of men to incline their wils whithersoeuer he will, either to good things of his own mercy, or to euill things according to their deserts. And against Iulian the Pelagian, lib. 5. cap. 3. Many other things we might rehearse, in which it would plainely ap∣peare, that the heart is made peruerse by the secret iudge∣ment of God, that the truth which is said might not be heard, and so man might sinne, that sinne might be the punishment of a former sinne: Yea, in the same place, he doth contend against Iulian, that those which are deliuered vp to their owne desires, are driuen into sinnes by the diuine power. Neither doth Thomas teach things vnlike these, in his Commentary vpon the Epistle to the Romanes, and the ninth Chapter.

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