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

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,

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 ( 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 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. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 26, 2024.


Page 437


The opinion of the Orthodoxe Church, concerning the con∣uersion of man, and of the manner and certainty of Con∣uersion.

OVr opinion is not that which these Secta∣ries doe fayningly apply to vs, whom it troubleth, that wee doe not speake ab∣surd and impious things, that a larger field might be opened to them of inveighing a∣gainst vs.

The Arminians at the Hage, in the defence of their fourth Article, doe fasten these things vpon vs; That God is willing to saue some men, whether their free-will as∣sent, or not assent thereto. This is a foule calumny: For whosoeuer God doth saue, hee bendeth his will, that he might worke of his owne accord, and might obey God. The same men, pag. 268. doe so deale with vs, as if we taught, that faith is wrought in vs by God without vs, and as if wee taught that our wils were compelled, and wee drawne in our conuersion, as blockes. These things (according to their custome) they attribute to vs, and that liberally enough: They change the gennine and proper state of the question, because they know that our opinion cannot be ouer∣throwne, vnlesse it be first changed.

Thus therefore we determine: That the election of God is immutable, and those that are written in the booke of life, cannot be put out, nor the decrees of God be broken: Wherefore, whosoeuer God hath elected to saluation, hee hath necessarily elected to

Page 438

faith and repentance; in as much as without these there is no saluation. Whence it commeth to passe, that it is impossible but that the elect should obtaine faith, and be conuerted; which thing, seeing it is done in some sooner, and in some later, and that the worke∣men are called into the Lords Vine-yard at diuers houres of the day; yet it is certaine, that he was not elected, who hath not at the least beleeued in Christ, in the time of death. This is to vs the ground & foun∣dation of truth, which can be ouerwhelmed by no Art, nor shaken with any force. Whosoeuer are cal∣led by the purpose of God, doe necessarily follow, least God should faile of his purpose: And whosoeuer God hath predestinated, them he called, and whom he called, he iustified, and whom he iustified, he glorified, Rom. 8.

If therefore it must needes be, that all they that are elected, must come to faith in Christ; the founda∣tion of this certainty, is not mans free-will, but the will of God. For an immutable, and an eternall thing, cannot rest on a flitting and vnstable foundation. Yet we doe not say, that man is drawne of God, by an vn∣resistible force; For that is an vnresistible force, which though you would resist, you cannot: For how can we be drawne by the vnresistible grace of God, see∣ing that this very thing, that wee will not resist, but yeelde obedience to him of our owne accord, is the grace of God it selfe? So when all of vs desire to be happy freely, and yet necessarily, there is no man but he that is mad, will say that we are compelled to it by any vnresistible force: we doe not say that the elect, although they would resist the calling of God,

Page 439

yet could not: but we say, that the elect doe at length certainely and infallibly, and of their owne accord, follow God calling, that the Election of God might be fulfilled: For this is the state of the question; Whe∣ther it may come to passe, that he who is elected, may ne∣uer be conuerted, and may euen to the very end, resist God calling, or may so resist the grace of God, that he may finally fall from it.

Neither is there any neede, here carefully to dis∣pute, whether he that is elected can resist grace, see∣ing he cannot resist grace, and whether hee is vnwil∣ling to that which hee willeth. Wee haue no lea∣sure to be so acute: For it sufficeth to the defence of the certainty of election, to determine that it is im∣possible, that he who is elected should not be conuer∣ted, and should finally resist. If we get this granted, we will easily suffer the Arminians to skirmish and flourish at leasure, and to dispute whether that may be done, that neuer hath beene done, nor neuer shall be done; and whether the tormentours could breake the thighes of our Sauiour, which were impossible to be broken, because the decree of God did hinder. These are the wranglings of idle men, who make worke for themselues, that they might procure mo∣lestation and trouble to others. The wils of men are after a maruailous & secret manner so turned by God, that it is impossible that man should will to doe those things, to the doing whereof their naturall powers haue ability; and although man may naturally re∣sist, yet it is impossible that hee should will to resist finally: And those things may certainely and vna∣voidably happen, which are done by men willing and

Page 440

witting, and hauing naturally power of resisting. We doe not therefore despute of the powers of resisting grace, which wee finde by experience, to our owne losse, to be in the godly and faithfull: But we dispute of the impossibility of the euent, and we earnestly af∣firme, that it cannot be, that he who is elected, should finally resist, and by his incredulity striue against God to the end of his life.

And that those things which are done by men wil∣lingly without constraint, without naturall necessi∣tie, and without the impulsion of any externall cause forcing mans free-will, doe happen necessarily, and the prouidence of God so decreeing, the Scrip∣ture doth affirme, and experience doth witnesse: For the Arminians doe acknowledge, that the death of Christ was decreed by God, and that it could not be but the decree of God must be fulfilled; when yet that death hapned by the wickednesse of the Iewes, who were led to this naughty act of their owne ac∣cord. Prou. 21. God doth turne the hearts of Kings, and doth leade them whither hee will; euen as the conueyer doth guide the riuer, whether he pleaseth. God without constraint, did suddenly change the minde of Esau, Gen. 33. and of Saul, 1 Sam. 19.23. and of the Aegyptians, Psal. 105.25. Which although they came to passe vnauoydably, yet they were done of their owne accord, and not by an vnresistible force, but the liberty of mans free-will remaining vn∣toucht. And if this be true in wicked men, how much more in good and faithfull men? Are they drawne vnwillingly, to whom God doth giue a heart of flesh, for a stony heart? Or those to whom God promiseth

Page 441

that he will cause that they shall walke in his wayes? Ezech. 36.37.

And we would easily admit of the words resistibi∣litie and vnresistibilitie, although they are rode and vnhandsome, if they were not wrested otherwise then to that which they signifie: For they call that resisti∣ble which may be hindred, auerted, and ouercome; when yet it is one thing to resist, and another thing to ouercome. Vnresistible force is that which cannot be oppugned nor resisted, and not that which cannot be ouercome; resistance noteth out the fight, not the victorie: For no man (as I know of) hath euer deni∣ed, that the efficacy of the spirit may be resisted by man: Nor is there any one, in whose minde piety is so deepely seated, who doth not feele an inward wrest∣ling, and is often destracted with contrary desires: But that he that is elected, may so resist grace, that he may neuer admit it, or being once admitted, hee may altogether and finally shake it off; there can nothing more be done to abolish the decrees of God: for wee doe not place the inuincible power of that faith which God doth giue to his elect, in the decree of faith, and in the perfection and strength of that vertue; but in the certaine and sure helpe of God, which hee doth supply to his elect, according to his purpose: For there is no faith so well growne, or so well strengthe∣ned, which would not faile, if God shall neuer so little withdraw his aide; euen as the child of two years old, at the first taking of his steps, is held vp by the hand of his father; although the childe be fearefull, yet cer∣tainely he shall not fall, because his father doth strong∣ly hold him vp. And if God doth sometimes suffer

Page 442

his elect to stumble and fall, he doth forthwith raise them vp: Whence it comes to passe, that they are made more wary, and doe more acknowledge the care of God ouer them, and by their very fall, doe gather strength; euen as when the parts of a broken bone doe so grow together againe, and are couered with a hard skin, that that part which was broken, is growne stronger then it was before. Also if our faith be weake, but yet serious and wrestling with doubtings, our bountifull father doth helpe our in∣firmities, and doth not breake the bruised reede. For as they that were bleare eyed, and blinde of one eye, beholding the brasen Serpent, were no lesse healed, then they that had both their eyes, and did see cleare∣ly; because they were not healed by the power of their seeing faculty, nor by the clearenesse of their eyes, but by the diuine power which God did exer∣cise by this image of the Serpent: So wee are not saued by the merit of the perfection of our faith, but by the bounty of God in Christ our Redee∣mer.

But what and how great that soule bending and perswading power of the holy Ghost, working in the hearts of the elect is, and by what meanes, occasions, and degrees hee doth further his worke, they themselues cannot expresse who doe feele it: Euen as the Woman with childe, doth not know after what manner the liuing fruite is formed and doth encrease: But that the power of the holy Ghost is very great, the Scripture doth witnesse, as hereafter shall be proued.

But how great soeuer this efficacy is, yet God

Page 441

doth not draw vs as logs, but as men. He doth draw vs being vnwilling, that wee might be willing; hee doth follow vs being willing, that we might not will in vaine: And when, of being vnwilling, hee doth make vs willing, he doth not onely not take away the liberty of the will, but he also restoreth it, because to serue God willingly and with ioy, is liberty. And he doth so further the increases of faith and regeneration, that for the most part we doe not perceiue that wee doe grow, but after some space of time, we know that we haue growne: Euen as wee doe not see plants as they grow, but wee see they haue growne. The word of the Gospell receiued into the eare, and con∣ceiued in the heart, is the ordinary manner whereby God doth affect mens hearts, and doth beginne, and further regeneration, hee inspiring into it hidden po∣wers towards them whom he decreed to saue. There∣fore it is called by Saint Peter, the incorruptible seed, 1. Pet. 1. By Saint Paul, the power of God to saluati∣on, Rom. 1. By the Apostle to the Hebrewes, Chap. 4. and in the beginning of the Reuelation, a two edged and sharpe Sword. By Ieremy, Chap. 23. v. 29. fire, and a hammer breaking the rocke, because it breaketh the hardenesse of our hearts, and doth leade our cap∣tiued cogitations to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor. 10.5. The sparkes of which new life, fallen from hea∣uen into our hearts, the Spirit of God doth stirre vp, and further as it were with bellows, & doth draw out groanes that cannot be vttered, striking, & wounding the heart with secret pricks, enlightning the minde, gouerning the appetites, bending the will, which (whether Arminius will or no) must also be framed

Page 442

againe, and as a crooked piece of wood, be bowed to the contrary part, because it is not equally inclined to good and euill (as these Sectaries would haue it) but doth wholy leane and incline to euill in men vnre∣generate.

This change, seeing it cannot be made but by contrary habits, it must needes be, that instead of those vices which are naturally engrafted, the contra∣ry habits of faith, hope, charity, humility, patience, &c. should succeede: Which habits are not obtai∣ned by vse and by actions, as the Arminians thinke, pag. 65. against the Walachrians, but are imprinted, and infused by the Spirit of God, who doth stirre vp holy actions and motions, which doe strengthen faith and charitie, and increase it by exercise: For man, helped by the spirit of God, doth not giue him∣selfe faith or charity, or obtaine them by exercise and industry, but they are giuen by God, and are nouri∣shed and increased by voluntary and spontaneus acti∣ons, inspired by God.

And that the will is rather the seate of vertues, then the sensitiue appetites, reason it selfe doth proue: For it is more like that the reasonable appetite, which is peculiar to man, is adorned with vertues, rather then the appetite which is common to vs with beasts, which if it were the seate of the vertues, of righteous∣nesse, holinesse, and charity, the sensitiue faculty ceasing after death vertue also would cease, and the will of the separated soule, would be altogether voide of righteousnesse and holinesse: And if any one doth suppose that the appetites may be called iust subiectiuely, and that they are the subiect of righte∣ousnesse

Page 443

and holinesse, because they obey the minde enlightned by God, there is no cause why the will, freely subiecting it selfe to that perswasion, ought not also after the same manner, be called iust and holy, and the subiect of righteousnesse and holinesse. And seeing that the rectified will of a wise and pious man is wont to rule ouer the affections, and to compell them into the compasse; who doth not see, that ver∣tue is rather in that part, which being rectified, doth rule ouer the affections, then in the affections, which doe for the most part slackly obey this holy com∣mand? I confesse indeed that Christian vertues doe in some part pertaine to the sensitiue appetities; But af∣ter the same manner that the art of training vp a horse, which doth properly reside in the horse-man, doth in some part belong to the horse, whom the in∣dustry of the rider hath broake to the circuits and compasse, and hath taught to moue himselfe with an ordered motion. Could there be none more com∣modious meanes inuented of maintaining the liberty of the will of man, then by depriuing it of all vertue? Surely the Arminians shew themselues stout patrons of the liberty of free-will, if they spoyle the will of vertues, that it might be free, and doe shake off the bonds of holy habits from the will, lest it should be too much bound. For as they teach that the will, be∣fore the fall, was not indued with spirituall gifts, lest it should be thought by the fall to be defiled with vi∣ces, and lest contrary vices, and a natural deprauation should be thought to haue succeded in the place of those spirituall gifts which were lost: So they also de∣ny that the habits of faith and charity, &c. are infused

Page 444

into the will by God, lest the will being changed by that infusion should lose the power of finally resisting the holy-Ghost. For they thinke that iniury is done to the will, if the liberty of casting it selfe headlong in∣to hell be taken away, which surely is an vnhappy li∣berty, and for the defence whereof these Sectaries ought not to apply themselues with all their strength, as if it stood vs so much vpon so to be free that wee might resist God to the end, and destroy our selues: Neither was this a fit cause of making the will such a silly and single thing, naturally indued neither with vices nor vertues, but a thing that may be turned and winded euery way, and like the prime and first mat∣ter, capable of euery impression; seeing that on the contrary, the will of man is naturally euill, and euen incorporated in vices, as we haue abundantly proued, Chap. 33. and men according to their will, especially, are eyther good or euill.

We determine therefore, that Christian vertues are not obtained by vse and industry, but are infused by God into the minde, and into the will; who doth not onely giue power of beleeuing, but also to beleeue in Christ it selfe, and doth worke in vs actuall faith: As he who by his certaine and absolute purpose hath decreed to giue faith to them whom hee decreed to saue, whereby they might be saued: The effect of which grace we determine doth not depend on mans free-will, and that it is not in our power to beleeue, and to be conuerted if we will, seeing that on the contrary God giueth to the elect, that they might will to be conuerted, & to beleeue, giuing them both to will, and to doe, according to his good pleasure.


  • Per spiritus san∣cti operationem vires homini dantur ad elici∣endos actus con∣uersio••••s, concomi∣tante porro spiri∣tu credit & be∣••••agit home: crebris fid•••• cha∣ritatis patientiae actibus habitum spei fidei, &c. sibi comparaet.

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