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.


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The question of morall perswasion is sifted and discussed, and whether euery perswasion may be resisted.

THE Arminians determine that the efficacy of the spirit of God, working in our hearts, is in a morall perswa∣sion: For they deny that those habits of Faith, Hope and Charity, are infu∣sed into mens hearts by God, lest the liberty of free-will should be violated, and lest con∣uersion should be made by an vnresistible and vna∣uoidable necessity, but rather by a gentle invitation, which man may eyther resist or obey.

This their opinion doth rest on this false principle, that there is no perswasion which may not be so resi∣sted that the effect thereof may at length be hindred. We contend, that this principle is false: For there is a perswasion so effectuall that it doth necessarily draw a man to ascent; which although thou maist resist, if thou wouldst, yet thou canst not be willing. If one, in a scorching drought, should offer sweete & whole∣some drinke to him that is a thirst, and should, with a friendly perswasion invite him to drinke, and should disswade and hinder nothing on the contrary, I say that it cannot be, but that hee who is thirsty should take the drinke offered him. A man hath fallen into the hands of enemies, who loade him with chaines, and cast him into prison, and bring him neere the pu∣nishment: Now, if one should enter the same pri∣son, who should loosen the chaines, open the gate,

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and shew him a sure way of escape, and should ex∣hort him that he should flie, and free himselfe from the present danger, I doe not thinke that such a man could obtain of himselfe, that he should not obey such perswasion: And if in humane things there are many such like perswasions, which you cannot be willing to resist: How much lesse can that perswasion be resi∣sted, when to the euidence and certainty of the per∣swasion, and to the excellency of those heauenly good things which the Gospell doth offer to vs, and to the knowledge of the present danger, the diuine power hath also come, and that heart-turning might of the holy-Ghost, whose efficacy cannot be explai∣ned. Surely there is a certaine perswasiue necessity, and a perswasion more mighty then any command, which doth so bend those that are willing, that they would rather endure any thing then not to will what they desire.

Reason it selfe doth adde credit to these things, and the nature of mans will, in which it is engrafted to moue it selfe to the prescript and perswasion of the minde, vnlesse when the indocible affections doe resist reason. But as often as reason doth conspire and agree with the affections, it is impossible but the will should moue it selfe thither whether the minde doth perswade it, and the appetites doe incite it; for what should call it away, seeing it can be moued with no other impulsion?

Nor is it any doubt that God, who doth through∣ly know our soules, and the most fit occasions by which the soule being apprehended cannot resist him calling, and doth know in what part it is more flexible;

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should not be able so to enlighten the minde, and imprint on the fancy (which hath the naturall com∣mand ouer the appetites) so cleere an image, so terrifie the conscience, by the propounding of punish∣ments, so stirre it vp, by laying before it the eternall rewards, so gently inuite, and so fitly perswade, that presently all resistance should cease, and all contrarie∣ty fall to the ground.

Wherefore Arnoldus against Tilenus, pag. 251. spake inconsiderately, when hee said that the liberty of the will consisted in this, that all things which are required to an action being granted, and being pre∣sent, the will might suspend and stoppe the action. He ought to haue said, that the liberty of the will consisteth in this, that it doth with a free and spon∣taneus motion, apply it selfe to those things which the vnderstanding and the appetites doe perswade, or if the appetites doe disagree with reason, and diuers ob∣iects are propounded, that the will may, by a free ele∣ction, moue it selfe to what part it will. Let the soules which doe enioy the sight of God in heauen be for an example; to whom all things are fully sup∣plied, which are required to stirre vp the will to loue God, yet their will cannot suspend that action, nor forbid and auert that act of loue, wherewith they loue God: Neither can it be said (although it maketh little to the present matter) that the cause why they cannot hate God is, because occasions of hatred, and incitations to sinne are wanting: For the Angels be∣fore the fall had no greater occasion. The same oc∣casions of sinning which ouerthrew the Angels, were neuer wanting. The too much admiration, and

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too great loue of themselues, and by it a more slacke contemplation, and a more backward loue of God, carried those most excellent creatures headlong, and stirred them vp to rebellion.

The will indeede is affected to two or more things, and betweene two propounded obiects doth freely choose, vnlesse when the last and best end is desired: But it doth often so strongly apply it selfe to some one thing, that it cannot resist it selfe. And if the effi∣cacy of the holy-Ghost, turning the heart, working in the elect, shal also come to it, which doth so draw & gouern the raines of the affections, that it may bend and turne the will following of its owne accord; what meruaile is it, if such a rider cannot be finally shaken off, although the appetites doe so much resist, and doe hardly giue ouer that rule and command which besides right and equity they haue ceased on?

All these these things pertaine thither, that we may teach, that the euent of conuersion is not thereby vn∣certaine, or (as these innouators speake) resistible, although God should moue the heart by a morall perswasion, and should allure the will by a congruent and meete invitation.

But yet whosoeuer shall heare the Scripture, or shall descend to examples and to experience, shall finde that the efficacy of the holy-Ghost, working in mens hearts, ought not to be restrained to morall perswasion: For it is a hard thing to conceiue in ones minde, what perswasion God vsed in the conuersion of Saint Paul, who was cast downe, as it were with lightning, and whose stubbornnesse kicking against the pricks was broken.

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The same may be said of the Theefe, into whom in the midst of torments, and in the very agony of death, God did infuse faith after an vnvtterable man∣ner: For what? Doe these Sectaries thinke, that he obtained faith by vse, and by the frequent actions of pietie? Surely that cannot be said, seeing that in one moment he came from the height of incredulitie, and from most desperately wicked manners, to a most strong faith. Was he inuited by a gentle perswasion? No surely: For whatsoeuer things were present be∣fore him, were so many disswasions, and they so pow∣erfull, that the faith of the Apostles themselues did then faile: The very torments which the miserable man did then suffer could easily haue taken away the sense of that allurement and perswasion, vnlesse the se∣cret power of the spirit of Christ had broken through all obstacles.

Would the Apostle Paul, Ephes. 1.19.20. and Coloss. 2.12. say, that that power of God, whereby he doth effectually worke in the hearts of beleeuers, is the same with that whereby hee raised Christ from the dead, if hee should onely conuert mens hearts by a morall perswasion, and by a gentle invita∣tion?

Saul being fully determined to kill Dauid, came to Naioth, whither Dauid was fled, 1 Sam. 19. but as soone as he came thither, vnmindfull of Dauid, he is catched with a propheticall inspiration: Where is there here any morall perswasion or invitation? If therefore God changeth the mindes of wicked men, without any morall perswasion, why shall hee not exercise the same power towards his elect.

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And I doe not see how those speeches, of creating a new heart, of raising man from the dead, and of gi∣uing new life, by which the Scripture doth expresse our conuersion, may be applyed to note out morall perswasion. The new man is not created by per∣swasion, but by the infusion of new life; and it must needes be, that some supernaturall thing must come, which cannot be explained by man.

And if God should allure men to beleeue by a meere perswasion and invitation, God should not be the efficient cause of faith: For hee that doth onely exhort and perswade that we may beleeue, doth not giue beleeuing it selfe; no, nor he who doth suggest the powers of beleeuing, as we haue said before; but hee doth moue metaphorically and intentionally, as wee are moued by Obiects, and by a knowne end.

And that here is something else beside perswasion, may hence be gathered, in that you see some men are vehemently set on fire by a small perswasion, some on the other side, who know the truth, are yet in the midst of some euident and most certaine perswasions cold, and not at all affected. Former times, and our owne age, hath brought forth many Martyrs, who haue beene vnlearned, and but lightly instructed in the doctrine of the Gospell; but that strong natured and laborious Origen, who had the Scripture at his fin∣gers ends, being vnable to endure Martyrdome, chose rather to burne incense to the Diuell. Many among miracles, and in the midst of the light of the Gospell, are incredulous, as the men of Capernaum; or else are giuen to their belly and gluttony, as daily experi∣ence

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doth witnesse. Neither doth this therefore come to passe, because some of the vnregenerate are more capable of morall perswasion then others, seeing all men are altogether auerse from God, and dead in sinnes: Also you may see the most wicked men and worst affected, to be conuerted to the faith of Christ, as the Romanes, the Corinthians, &c. that God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, and where sin hath abounded, there grace hath abounded. On the other side, you may see many not so euilly disposed, as the men of Tyre and Sydon, that are not called by the preaching of the Gospell, then which, there is no other perswasion more wholesome. There are some ages, in which the gate of the Church is wide open, and there is a great concourse of people in it, as the Apostle teacheth, 1 Cor. 16.19. A great doore and effe∣ctuall, is opened to me. And 2 Cor. 2. When I came to Troas to preach the Gospell, a doore was opened to me of the Lord. On the contrary, there are some times, in which the passage to the Church is as it were stopped vp, and the efficacy of the Gospell doth seeme to be diminish∣ed; when the Pastors of the Church doe finde much stubbornenesse in the people, & a brawnie skin drawn ouer their consciences, the hardnesse whereof doth turne and blunt the edge of preaching. This doth not happen, because in some ages men are borne bet∣ter, or because God doth vse other meanes and in∣structions to the teaching of them, then of others; but because it seemed good to God to soften the hearts of these, and to reueale to them his arme and his power of saluation, and to fasten the sword of the word of God with greater force into their mindes, and

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that according to his good pleasure and election of grace, by which as many as are appointed to eter∣nall life, doe beleeue, Acts 13. By this motiue, God himselfe did stirre vp the minde of Saint Paul, being at Corinth, and did exhort him to speake freely: Feare not, (saith he) but speake, and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set vpon thee to hurt thee; for I haue much people in this Citie.


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