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 26, 2024.

Pages

Page 428

CHAP. XLIII.

The opinion of the Arminians, of the manner of the ope∣ration of Grace, and of that power which they call vn∣resistable. Also of morall perswasion. And of the pow∣er and act of beleeuing.

WHat the secret motions of the holy-Ghost are, what the efficacy of it is, by what de∣grees it doth further regeneration, what impediments are cast in the way by man, what is the conflict of the flesh with the spirit, and the strife of the new man with the old, who as another Esau, doth at length shake off the yoake, and doth hinder the worke of God as much as it can, I thinke cannot be throughly knowne by any, nor can that little which we know by experience, be explained in fit words. Surely Christ, Iohn 3. doth rightly com∣pare the spirit, the author of regeneration, to the winde, which bloweth where it listeth, and whose sound is heard, but men know not whence it commeth, nor whe∣ther it goeth: It is a thing therefore whose experience is rather to be wished then the efficacy of it to be ex∣plained. There are many who while they peere into the nature of the operation of the holy-Spirit, are themselues led by a reprobate spirit: And while they discourse concerning the efficacy of the spirit of peace, they themselues being prone to discord, and puft vp with pride, doe sufficiently bewray that they are led by that spirit which doth effectually worke in the sonnes of rebellion, Ephes 2.

These things although they be thus, and that it

Page 429

be safer to follow God calling, then to enquire by what power he doth call and draw vs, yet the obsti∣nate rashnesse of those men, with whom wee haue to doe, compelleth vs to descend to these things: For these innouators haue drawne out of the puddles of the spanish Iesuites, I know not what words of resista∣bility and vnresistability, with which they entangle mens wits; The scope whereof is to furnish the will of man, with powers wherewith he may resist the Ho∣ly-Ghost, with how great efficacy soeuer hee should worke in mens hearts, that by this meanes man might owe his conuersion to his owne strength and pow∣er, and the confidence of our saluation resting on a weake supporter, might stagger and fall into despara∣tion.

The words of Arnoldus against Tilenus, are di∣rect, pag. 125. We deny that the difference of Grace cal∣ling, is not placed as much in the free will of men, as in the will of God: And they all affirme, with one mouth, that God doth not absolutely will that this or that man should beleeue, but that hee indeede doth giue sufficient grace and power of beleeuing, which man may vse or not vse, according to his owne free-will: And that grace, and the power of the holy Ghost working in the heart is resistable, euen in the most ho∣ly men, and in the elect, and that the finall effect thereof may be hindred by man: Whence they ga∣ther, that those who are elected, may be reprobated. Indeede (say they) the power of beleeuing is giuen vnresistably; and the vnderstanding is so instructed in knowledge, and the affections stirred vp, that it cannot be resisted; but they contend, that the act of

Page 430

beleeuing it selfe is giuen resistably, and that it is in the power of free-will to vse grace or not to vse it, to beleeue or not to beleeue: For they doe not thinke that the liberty of free-will can stand, vnlesse he that is elected may sinally resist grace, and so be reproba∣ted. Arnoldus against Bogermannus, pag. 263. and 274. All the operations of grace being granted, which God doth vse to the working of conuersion in vs, yet conuersion it selfe doth so remaine free in our power, that we may not be conuerted, that is, we may conuert, or not conuert our selues. For they teach, that the effect of grace doth depend on mans free-will, and that free-will is a part-cause of our conuersion; in so much, that Greuinchouius against Ames, is bold to write these things: You will say that in this manner of operation, God doth on a sort depend on the will of man: I grant it, as concerning the act of free determination. Truely this is to disgrace God, and to make him subiect to mans free-will: Nor doe they doubt to say, that God seriously desiring that this or that man should be saued, is disappointed of his wish and desire, and that therefore hee doth grieue, and beare it heauily, and doth not doe that which hee had sworne he would doe, as before we haue proued: Euen with these shores doe these good men vnderproppe Christian faith, being about to fall.

And the manner whereby the grace of God, and his Spirit doth worke in vs, they determine to be this: They say that the vnderstanding of man is vnresista∣bly enlightned, and that his affections are vnresistably stirred vp, but the assent of the will doth remaine free. The same men thinke, that God doth vnresistably giue to man the power of beleeuing, & of conuerting

Page 431

himselfe, but the act it selfe of beleeuing and conuerting himselfe, may be done, or hindred, by mans will; and that the feeling is vnresistibly giuen, but not the assent: For they say, that there is in the will an essentiall indifferency and indetermination, to receiue or refuse grace, and as being put in an e∣quall ballance, doth turne to neither part; for it lost no spirituall gifts by the fall of Adam, because it had not these gifts before the fall. The conferrers at the Hage, pag. 307. Although it is to be determined, that the infusion of abilityes, is done by an vnresistible power (that the matter become not infinite) yet it cannot come to passe that the act it selfe, that is, to beleeue and be conuerted, should be wrought vnresistibly.

And they doe plainely deny, that actuall faith, and the act of beleeuing is the gift of God: For al∣though they doe sometimes make shew of this, and doe thunder out with full mouthes that faith is from God; yet in the whole thred of their disputation, they doe openly bewray that they are verry farre from that opinion: For they deny that faith is iufused by God into the hearts of men, but that God doth giue power and faculty of beleeuing; Nor doth God other∣wise giue the act of beleeuing, then as the minde is in∣dued with knowledge, and the affections being ray∣sed, doe put forward the will, which is not to giue faith, but to incite to faith: Yea, by their opinion, it is certaine that God doth not giue the power of be∣leeuing in Christ, but doth onely enlighten the minde that it may know Christ, and allure the appetites with a gentle perswasion: For hee that doth onely shew the light, and exhort the traueller to goe, doth

Page 432

not giue him power of going. These are the words of the Arminian conferrers at the Hage, p. 275. We deny that faith is the gift of God, in respect of the actuall infu∣sing of it into our hearts, but it is so called in respect of the power of comming to it. This indeede is to vse no circumstance, but to speake it plainely enough. For, they say that God doth not infuse faith into our hearts, but that he doth giue the meanes to come to faith, which meanes we may vse, if we will, for this is in the power of free-will.

The same men, pag. 306. doe professe that they beleeue that the very act of beleeuing is from God, and yet a little after they doe retract what they had granted; for they doe ouerthrow all those places of Scripture, by which wee endeauour to proue that faith, and the act of beleeuing, is from God. The men of our party, did proue this by the words of Christ, Iohn 6.65. No man can come to me, vnlesse it be giuen him by the father. The Arminians answere, that that place of Iohn, speaketh of nothing but of that faculty whereby one may beleeue, and therefore it doth not make to the purpose, in as much as it is to be proued that the very act of beleeuing is the gift of God. Would they haue it to be proued by vs, and to be euinced by argument, if they did beleeue it, and did seriously professe it? Surely, that their confession was dissembled, and therefore a little after they doe alter and reuoke it: In the same place they doe per∣uersly corrupt that famous place of S. Paul, Ephes. 2. By grace ye are saued through faith, and that not of your selues, it is the gift of God. In which place both saluati∣on and faith, are called the gift of God. For they

Page 433

deny that faith is there called the gift of God, but sal∣uation. O your fidelity ye Sectaries! What doth this concerne you, or why doe youso much feare lest faith should be called by the Apostle the gift of God? This indeed is a very great malignity, and an open confession, whereby they disclose that they thinke that faith is not the gift of God. With a like licentious∣nesse doe they sport themselues, in deprauing the words of the Apostle to Timothy, Epist. 2. Chap. 2. v. 25. If God will giue them repentance to the acknowledgement of the truth. The men of our party brought this place, that they might proue conuersion and the act of re∣pentance to be from God: But these Sectaries, as it were in a mockery doe reiect this place, as that which speaketh of repentance, as of a thing that is vncertaine, and which may happen: Doubtlesse it doth not please the Arminians, that the act of con∣uersion is the gift of God. And although they say in ambiguous and deceiptfull words, that repentance is the gift of God, yet they thinke that it can be pro∣ued by no place of Scripture; when yet the Scripture saith: It is God which doth worke in vs effectually to will and to doe. Philip. 2. And that It is giuen to vs to be∣leeue in Christ. Phil. 1. Surely these words, to will, to doe, and to beleeue, doe note out the very act of willing and beleeuing, and not the power whereby we may be willing or not be willing, beleeue or not beleeue.

But they doe in no other thing more open their meaning, then while they deny that faith is infused into our hearts by God, but that onely men are stir∣red vp to faith, and allured with a gentle perswasion

Page 434

and invitation, which they call morall and resistible; after the same manner that a boy is drawne by an Apple offred him, or a hog by bran laid before him. If this be true, and if the efficacy of the holy-Spirit doth no otherwise imprint faith then by perswading, it is plaine that faith is not the gift of God: For hee that perswadeth to beleeue, doth not giue faith, but doth perswade. Arminius against Perkins, pag. 57. hath these words: That faith and repentance cannot be had but by the gift of God, is most plaine in the Scriptures. But the same Scripture, and the nature of the gift of eyther of them, doth most cleerely teach, that that gift is giuen by the manner of perswasion. These are things that can∣not stand together, for nothing is giuen by the man∣ner of perswasion: He that stirreth mee vp to run∣ning, doth thereby neither giue mee the running it selfe, nor the power of running. The same man, pag. 211. saith, God hath determined to saue them that beleeue by his grace, that is, by a milde and sweete perswasion, conuenient and agreeable to their free-will, not by an omni∣potent action or motion, which they neither will nor can resist, nor can be willing to resist. Vorstius, Parasc. ad Piscat. pag. 4. saith: What things God will haue vs to doe altogether freely and contingently, hee cannot desire thse more powerfully or effectually then by the manner of a wish or desire. Indeede the Arminian conferrers at the Hage, in the defence of their fourth Article, doe professe that they will not define how God doth worke in vs, and that they will not breake into these secrets, yet the same men doe restraine all those pla∣ces of Scripture, which say that wee are drawne by God, and that God doth effectually and mightily

Page 435

worke in vs, to a meere perswasion and an allurement, by the manner of an Obiect. And Greuinchouius, pag. 232. and 233. doth acknowledge no other, then a morall motion.

This is also among the decrees of the Arminians, that a man is quickned first by the ministery of the law, and afterward by the ministery of the Gospell; for they thinke that there is a kinde of quickning, which is without faith in Christ; they also peece vpon it this guard, that no man is called outwardly, who is not cal∣led in wardly, and that there is free-will in man to open to God knocking, or not to open.

And although they thinke that there is no grace of God, which may not be resisted by man, yet they confesse, that God doth so certainely call some men, that they must infallibly follow; to wit, them whom he doth call in such a congruent and agreeable time and manner, and with such efficacy and measure of light, that they are most certainely conuerted. Armi∣nius against Perkins, pag. 67. doth say, that the inward perswasion of the holy Ghost is in all them, to whom the word is preached: And that this perswasion is two-fold, one sufficient, the other effectuall; as if that perswasion could be sufficient, which is not of suffici∣ent efficacy. Hee proceedes: Sufficient perswasion is that, whereby a man may will, and beleeue, and be conuer∣ted, when it is vsed; effectuall perswasion is that, where∣by he to whom it is applied doth will, doth beleeue, and is conuerted: For he thinketh, that he in whom the spirit of God doth not worke effectually, may yet beleeue and conuert himselfe, although hee neuer be conuer∣ted. He addeth; The first of these perswasions is ap∣plyed in the decree of prouidence, with a certaine and sure

Page 436

fore-knowledge, that it shall be reiected by the free-will of man: The other is administred by the decree of predesti∣nation, with a certaine and sure fore-knowledge, that he to whom it is applied, shall both will, and belecue, and be conuerted; because it is so applyed, according as God knoweth it to be congruent and agreeable, for the perswasi∣on and the conuersion of him, on whom it is bestowed. He hath the same words, pag. 245. As also Arnoldus against Tilenus, pag. 79. Finally, it is familiar to the Arminians to teach, that some men are called by God, after an incongruent manner, whereby they that are called doe neuer follow, although they are able to follow; and that some are called in a congruent manner and time, wherein they that are called doe certainely fol∣low, and that by the decree of predestination, which cannot be deceiued. By which opinion, they vndoe againe that which they had begun, and doe manifest∣ly stablish that vnresistibility, which they impugne with all their forces.

This is rending and tearing of wits, and that tor∣ment wherewith these men, vnhappily witty men, doe so torture both themselues and others, that now, not onely the Schooles of the Low-countries are filled with the noise of the tearmes of vnresistibility, of na∣turall necessity, and of morall perswasion, but also the Streetes, Barbers shops, and Tauernes. You may with lesse labour, purge the Stable of Angia, then this venimous spaune of errours; whereof yet wee haue examined a good part in the former Chapters: That which remaines shall, by the goodnesse of God, here∣after be examined.

Notes

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