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 23, 2024.

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CHAP. XLIX

The weake obiections of the Arminians against Irresisti∣bility (that is, the infallible certainty of the conuersion of the elect) are answered.

I. THese Sectaries doe lay the chiefe foundation of their cause, in that their false opinion, and already confuted by vs. That God doth not administer and supply the meanes to conuersion and faith, by

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any absolute and precise decree: For if God calling men, doth precisely and absolutely intend the con∣uersion of no one man, it is not needefull that the conuersion of any one should precisely follow the supplying of those meanes. This their foundation, seeing it hath beene ouerwhelmed and cast downe by vs, the other things which they would build vpon this must needes fall.

II. The Arminian conferrers at the Hage, doe very ill heape together many things, to the ouer∣throwing whereof there is neede of no great conten∣tion. In the front of the battell, they set that place in the Acts, Chapter 7.15. Where Stephen doth lay it to the charge of the rebellious Iewes, that they haue al∣waies resisted the holy-Ghost: Whence they inferre, that the holy-Ghost, when he worketh in man, doth not worke conuersion vnresistibly.

III. But they doe vnwisely proue that which is not in controuersie. For we doe not teach, we doe not acknowledge that irresistibility which they attribute to vs. This conclusion therefore doth not hurt vs, who doe willingly confesse that the holy-Ghost doth not alwaies so worke in mens hearts that hee taketh away all resistance. Furthermore, they suppose a thing which is most false, as a thing true and gran∣ted, to wit, that the holy-Ghost wrought in those Iewes, and that they resisted the inward operation of the Spirit. Stephen chargeth the Iewes, that they al∣waies resisted the eu dent testimony of the holy-Ghost, speaking by the Prophets. This the following words of Stephen doe declare: Which of the Prophets haue not your fathers persecuted? &c. Nor if Stephen

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should speake of the holy-Ghost dwelling in the im∣pious, and vnbeleeuing Iewes (which yet is very false) would it thence follow that he spake of the spirit of Adoption, and of the grace peculiar to the elect, which doth certainely and infallibly worke faith and conuersion in them alone?

IV. With this place, there likewise fall to the ground those places in which the Scripture, Psal. 78. Esay 63. Matth. 23.37. Prou. 1.24. &c. saith, that the Iewes tempted God, and stirred him vp to wrath, and made sad the spirit of his holinesse; that the chickens would not be gathered; that they who were called refused; &c. All these (say I) are nothing to the pur∣pose. The Scripture there speaketh of vngodly and rebellious persons; but in this question it is spoken of the faithfull and the elect; and the question is, whe∣ther it may be that they may neuer be conuerted, and may finally resist the spirit of adoption. To the prouing of this, the places which speaketh of Repro∣bates, which we confesse doe finally resist God calling, and doe want the spirit of adoption, are plainely be∣sides the purpose. Finally, these Sectaries doe not proue, that in all these places it is spoken of a finall resistance, of which alone it is spoken here.

But (say they) God, Ezechiel 18.31. doth com∣mand the Israelites to make them a new heart, and a new spirit. Whence they gather that man may per∣forme what he is commanded, or resist God comman∣ding. I am ashamed of this olde trifle and Pelagian colewort, so often brought againe, and as often re∣iected. First of all, what neede is there to proue that an vnregenerate man is able not to obey this com∣mandement

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of making him a new heart, seeing this alone he is able to doe, to wit, nor to obey; and he can∣not obey? And that man can doe whatsoeuer God commandeth is an heresie of the Pelagians, already confuted by vs The precepts of God are not the mea∣sure of our powers, but the rule of our duty, the summe of our debt, the matter of our prayers, the scope of our strife. But of these things more then enough.

VI. Fourthly, they pretend that place, Esay 5. What could more haue beene done to my Vineyard, which I haue not done to it? Whence they inferre, that the grace of God doth not worke conuersion in man vnresistibly. This is a prodigious consequence; and if it were good, yet the conclusion would touch neither the question, nor vs; who confesse that in the elect themselues, con∣uersion is not wrought without some resistance. Adde to these, that to the question wherein it is spoken of the conuersion of seuerall men, a place speaking of the calling of a whole nation is vnwisely brought. When it is spoken of the certainty of the conuersion of the elect, they ought not to bring a place speaking of the rebellion of an incredulous and vnbeleeuing nation. Finally, they deale so as they who are very carefull, lest they should say any thing that should make to the purpose.

VII. By the way, the Reader shall obserue, that vnproper phrases, and spoken after the manner of men, ought not to be taken as properly spoken. God is figuratiuely said to haue wished and expected fruit from his vine. Desires, and griefe, as if hauing spent his labour in vaine he had failed of his propounded

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end, cannot happen to God: When God doth wish the conuersion of men, as Psal. 81.14. he doth insinu∣ate nothing else, then that the conuersion of man is acceptable to him: So when he is said to expect fruit from the Vine, or from the Fig-tree, that is, from the Church, or from particular men; and when the Vine disappointed his hope, not presently to plucke it vp by the rootes; vnderstand, that God doth require and demand obedience, and that when that which ought to be done is not done, he is not presently rea∣dy to punish, but doth deferre it, Luke 13.9. God doth not expect those euents which hee fore-knoweth will not come to passe: Much lesse doth he expect those euents in the godly, which hee himselfe is to worke.

VIII. They stumble at the same stone, when they cite that of Ezechiel, Chap. 12. Vers. 2. Sonne of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, who haue eyes to see, and see not, &c. Whence they inferre that man indeede hath eyes, and eares, and power of conuerting himselfe, but he is able to resist. Vnwisely spoken; for who doth deny that man is able to resist? yea, of his owne nature hee can doe nothing else. Why doe they heape vp to vs the examples of reprobates and wicked men, in the question whereby it is deman∣ded whether it may come to passe that hee who is elected can finally resist grace, and fall from it? By the way, the Reader shall remember, that of the same people to whom eares & eyes are here attributed, God doth thus speake, Deut. 29.4. The Lord hath not giuen you a heart to vnderstand, nor eyes to see, nor eares to heare, to this day. For there are two kindes of eyes,

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some, which onely the faithfull haue, to wit, the eyes of faith; some, which reprobates may haue, who see∣ing and willing doe perish; who seeing doe not per∣ceiue, and doe heare heauily with their eares, Mat. 13.26.27. these mens eyes are carnall and cloudy; these men, naturall reason being their guide, haue a super∣ficiall knowledge which doth not affect the heart, or if any diuine light hath risen to them, it doth rather dazle their eyes then enlighten them; yea, that know∣ledge which they haue, they endeauour to choake, willingly groping at noone day.

IX. The places of Scripture which they adde, they doe in the same manner mis-alleadge, Zach. 7.11. Esay 6.9. Mat. 13.4. Acts 28.25. and 26. By which places, no other thing can be proued, then that repro∣bates and rebellious persons may refuse the grace of God, and resist his admonitions; which we willingly confesse: But what is this to finall resistance in the Elect?

X. They doe gloriously boast of the words of Christ, Mat. 11.21. Woe vnto thee Corazin, woe vnto thee Bethsaida; for if the mighty workes which were done in you, had beene done in Tyre and Sydon, they would haue repented long agoe in sacke-cloath and ashes. The like place you haue, Ezech. 3.6. Out of the place of Mat∣thew they thus dispute.

That grace by which some men, to whom it is giuen, haue not beene conuerted, and others had beene conuer∣ted if the same had beene giuen to them, is resistible. But the grace of conuersion is such. Therefore the grace of conuersion doth not worke vn∣resistibly.

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There was no cause that they should so labour in the prouing of either proposition, seeing wee willing∣ly admit of the conclusion: Wee know that the elect themselues doe resist the grace of God, although not perpetually, nor so that the grace of God should be fi∣nally hindred. The question is, whether it may come to passe, that the elect may so resist the grace of God, that they may neuer be conuerted, or that they may extinguish it, and finally hinder it. The good men doe not touch this question, but doe wander other where.

X. Yet doe they not vphold those two propositi∣ons with fit proofes. The Maior and first proposition they thus proue: If Grace worke conuersion in man by an vnresistible force, it should alwayes and euery where worke with the like efficacy. But I deny that that will follow: For although grace should vnresistibly worke conuersion in all men that are conuerted, yet it might come to passe, that it should worke in some men with greater efficacie, to wit, in those who are so affe∣cted that they doe presently and without delay fol∣low God calling, and are inflamed with greater zeale and feruency then others, who obey more slack∣ly and slowly.

XII. They proue the Minor and second proposi∣tion, by the example of the men of Tyre: But they suppose (without any proofe) that Christ in this place doth speake of true conuersion, by which they are conuerted to whom God doth giue true faith and re∣pentance: Which surely is a great demand. For see∣ing the men of Tyre and Sydon did not pertaine to the election of God, because they neuer were conuer∣ted,

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if the miracles had beene done amongst them, which were done amongst the men of Corazin, they might haue beene touched with a reuerence, and haue beene affected with the sence of their sinne, and haue beene cast downe with that repentance which is bred by the feare of punishment; such as was the repentance of Ahab, 1 King. 21. and of the greater part of the Niniuites, as the ruine of Niniuie a while after doth declare, as we learne, Neh. 1.1. and out of the last Chapter of Tobias. In which thing, the men of Tyre had beene more praise-worthy, then the men of Corazin, who among so many miracles did not feele the least touch of griefe, nor gaue any signes of repentance. But I deny, that it was in the power of the men of Tyre to obtaine true faith, and to perseuere in it: without which yet there is no true repentance. And truely the Arminians seeme to me to accuse God of deceitfull enuie, and ill will, because hee knew that the men of Tyre were so affected, that if those miracles had come to them, they had seriously repented, and come to saluation; and yet he enuied this benefit to them, which notwithstanding he bestowed on a peo∣ple whom hee knew would neither be conuerted by miracles, nor by preaching.

XIII. In the seauenth place they thus dispute:

They who may resist the word of Grace and saluation, may also resist the spirit of repentance. But men may resist the word of grace and saluation: Therefore the same men may also resist the spirit of repentance.

We admit of the conclusion in that sence which I haue often said. They proue the Minor by the exam∣ples of reprobates, whom we know doe finally resist:

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But here it is spoken of the elect, and the question is, whether they may so resist grace that grace may be ouercome and finally extinguished. This which is the thing to be proued, and is the state of the question, they leaue vntouched.

XIV. Being driuen from the Scripture, they flye to Reason, and thus frame a Syllogisme:

  • ...That which is required of vs in the Gospell for due and filiall obedience, that is not wronght in vs by an vn∣resistible power.
  • ...But faith and repentance are required of vs in the Gos∣pell for due and filiall obedience:
  • ...Therefore they are not wrought in vs by an vnresistible power.

The Minor hath no neede of proofe. The Maior they proue thus; because that which is onely done in man by another, so that he onely behaueth himselfe passiuely in it, cannot be called obedience.

All these things are grounded on a double calum∣ny: The first is, whereby they faigne that wee teach that conuersion is wrought in vs vnresistibly: The other, whereby they attribute to vs, that we say con∣uersion and faith is wrought by God without vs; and that men in conuersion behaue themselues onely pas∣siuely. Truely we acknowledge no such conuersion, in which man should doe nothing but onely suf∣fer; we know that man is so drawne by a sweet and ef∣fectuall motion, and that his will is so bent and tur∣ned, that of vnwilling he is made willing, and doth worke, and is moued of his owne accord: We know that it is man himselfe that doth beleeue and repent, and not God. But we say that God doth giue to man,

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that he may be able to beleeue and repent: No other∣wise then the fruit doth moue it selfe in the wombe, and yet the motion it selfe and the power of mo∣uing, it hath from God: It is sufficient to obedience, that man doth voluntarily obey God.

XV. And here we entreate the Reader that hee would stay a little, and take notice, how inconside∣rately the Arminians deale here, and how aduerse and contrary they are to themselues. They deny that conuersion can be called obedience, if man doe one∣ly behaue himselfe passiuely in it: But they them∣selues teach, that man doth onely behaue himselfe passiuely, in the beginning of his conuersion, which yet all the Arminians acknowledge to be obedience. Their words are these in their Epistle against the Wa∣lachrians, pag. 69. and 70. Whether we say that the will is moued by the spirit onely by the fore-going operations of the vnderstanding or that there is a certaine new energeti∣call and operatiue quality infused to it, we alwaies deter∣mine that the will is first moued, that is, behaueth it selfe passiuely, before it doth actiuely moue it selfe to that which is good. This they say, but that is especially to be noted, that the Arminians doe with one mouth teach, that the vnderstanding is vnresistibly enlightned by God; that is, that knowledge is so giuen by God that it can∣not be resisted, when yet that knowledge is a kinde of obedience. For the Scripture doth euery where command vs to know and vnderstand, Psalme 2.10. Mat. 15.10. and 2 Tim. 2.7. Is not the earnest alacrity of the Angels, to fulfill the commands of God, obe∣dience? yet they cannot resist God commanding, nor can they desire to resist.

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XVI. Lastly, they heape together absurdities, which they think may be drawn for that power which they call irresistible: They say that it doth follow from thence, that no other can be conuerted then they that are indeede conuerted: And that no man can be conuerted, before hee be conuerted indeede. But this ought to be so farre from seeming absurd, that on the contrary, it is impious to beleeue that any one may be conuerted and regenerated, but hee whom God doth conuert and regenerate, and to whom he giueth faith and the spirit of adoption; or that any one can be conuerted before God conuert him. For if we be all by nature dead in sinne, it is certaine, that there are no other that can rise out of that spirituall death, then they that doe indeede rise. And if faith and the spirit of adoption is a gift of God proceeding from his meere grace; it is plaine, that they at length can be conuerted to whom God doth giue grace, whereby they may be conuerted in act. And seeing we are brought to that passe, that there is no man who doth not resist God calling, it appeareth that no man can be conuerted, but he from whom God hath taken away this resistance and hath broke his hardnesse. Let these new Semipelagians looke to it and consider with what face they dare maintaine, that an vnregenerate man hath power of conuerting himselfe, before God conuert him in act, and how they can defend themselues against so many places of Scripture, and so many reasons and proofes, which we haue brought in the three and thirty Chap∣ter. Can they bring an example (out of all records of Stories) of any one who hath obtained faith and

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saluation, by those gifts which doe happen to all men, euen to Heathens and vnregenerate per∣sons?

XVII. That no man can conuert himselfe be∣fore he be conuerted and drawne by God, the Scrip∣ture doth euery where witnesse: Conuert vs, and we shall be conuerted, Ier. 31.18. Lament. 5.21. Draw me, and wee will runne after thee, Cant. 1.4. Could the Thiefe conuert himselfe, before Christ after a meruai∣lous and vtterable manner changed his heart, among so many occasions of doubting, and in the flight and feare of the Apostles themselues? Could Paul conuert himselfe before he was called from heauen by Christ? Surely godly mens eares are vnacquainted with this opinion, and it is of the Pelagian vaine. By this meanes the decree of God is abolished, by which he determi∣ned to vse the miraculous confession of the Thiefe to shew the efficacy of the death of Christ, and his diuine power in the very height of griefes and reproaches, and for a notable euidence of the election of grace. God might haue beene disappointed of these ends, if the Thiefe might haue conuerted himselfe some years before. God indeede did not hinder that hee should not be conuerted: but whereas all men of themselues and of their owne nature are vnable to conuert them∣selues, concerning those whom he decreed to conuert, he determined with himselfe in what time and manner he would conuert them.

XVIII. But (say they) if no man can be con∣uerted, but he whom God doth conuert in deede and in act, it will thence follow that the rest who are called, are called in vaine, and that God should deale dissemblingly

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and vnwisely, who should call them to saluation, and yet withdraw the meanes necessary to obtaine salua∣tion.

I answere, that this word withdrawing, doth suffici∣ently proue how vnfaithfully they deale. For there is none of vs thinkes that God doth withdraw from them who are not conuerted, the meanes necessary to saluation: For if he should withdraw those meanes from them, hee should take from them that which they had: But no vnregenerate man euer had all the meanes necessary to saluation. It is one thing to withdraw the meanes necessary to saluation, and a∣nother thing not to giue them. It is one thing to pull out the eyes of the blinde, and it is another thing not to cure him that is blinde. It is sufficiently manifest that God doth not giue to all men, all the meanes ne∣cessary to saluation: For there are infinite people, to whom he doth not send preachers of the Gospell: And to very many, to whom the Gospell is preached hee doth not giue faith and the spirit of Adoption. But they alone beleeue, who are fore-ordained to eternall life, Act. 13. All which things are aboundantly pro∣ued in the former Chapters. Neither yet can God therefore be accused of folly or dissembling, who doth call those whom hee knoweth will not follow, & to whom he doth not giue the power of comming. For hee doth not deale dissemblingly, nor vnwisely, who doth require from man that which hee is not a∣ble, if he owe it, and if man himselfe is the cause of his disability. For God hath not lost his right by the wic∣kednesse of man; nor is he bound to supply to all men the meanes of paying what they owe, and of perfor∣ming

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what they are commanded. Nor doth he vn∣wisely or dissemblingly call the virgins who wanted oyle, although hee would not administer oyle to them, of which they themselues ought in time to haue had a care. Neither is it any doubt but that God doth require from euery man, yea, from the heathen them∣selues the perfect obedience of the law, which not∣withstanding that it can be perfectly fulfilled by them, the Arminians themselues, vnlesse it be feare∣fully and doubtfully, dare not affirme. God doth not in vaine call those whom he knoweth will not follow, because he doth not deale vainely, who doth exact that which iustice doth require. Nor is it equall that although in a promiscuous and mingled multitude there are many reprobates, the word of God should therefore not be preached to that multitude, and the naughtinesse of wicked men should defraud the good, and that thereby something should be taken away, and detracted from the commodities of the elect. Nor is the Gospell preached in vaine to those that are obstinate, seeing that by their obstinacy, and by the punishments that follow it, the godly are brought to a wholesome feare, and are turned and drawne to prayer, and to the acknowledgement of the mercy of God to them. God did not in vaine send Moses to Pharaoh, and Ezechiel to the Iewes, although God himselfe fore-warned that Pharaoh would not obey Moses, nor the Iewes Ezechiel. Therefore here is no absurdity, how odiously soeuer they cry out vpon it. These scoffing men, that they might procure enuy to vs, doe boastingly cast out these things among the vnskilfull common people, and doe raise bubbles in

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a shell, which are blowne away with the least breath.

XIX. They also heape together reproachfull ca∣lumnies, falsely attributing those things to vs which we doe not beleeue: To wit, that God calleth those who are not conuerted, purposely and onely for this end, that they might be inexcusable: Which thing, farre be it from vs that wee should say. Wee say in∣deede that this doth happen, but wee doe not say, that this is the onely end propounded by God. Wee doe not thinke that the reprobates are onely there∣fore called that they might be made inexcusable, al∣though by despising that calling they bring greater damnation vpon themselues. God indeede doth of∣fer his Gospell to those that will reiect it, but not to that end that they might reiect it. The end propoun∣ded to God in calling those whom hee knoweth will not obey, is to require that which they owe, and to declare what is acceptable to him. Doth hee not also call, warne, and threaten them, that at the least they might be so much constrained by feare, that they might not hurt those that are good; And that by the example of their stubbornenesse, which goeth not vn∣punished, the godly might learne to feare, and by comparing their condition with those to whom God hath not vouchsafed the like grace, they might more earnestly loue God for the prerogatiue granted to them?

XX. These Sectaries obiect againe, That by this meanes, some men haue matter and cause of security mini∣stred to them, and of the contempt of those meanes which God is wont to vse to worke conuersion, such as are the

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preaching of the word, &c. For if no man can conuert himselfe before this vnresistible drawing, and as soone as he is vnresistibly drawne he must needes be altogether conuerted, then all our care and diligence is voide and vn∣profitable: And to others there is matter of perpe∣tuall doubtings ministred as long as they feele no such drawing.

We haue already aduertised that this opinion is falsely laid vpon vs. That God doth draw a man vn∣resistibly. We onely say, that the elect, although they may resist a long time, yet at length they obey God calling, and their voluntary conuersion is wrought certainely and infallibly, and that it cannot come to passe that they should neuer be conuerted, or being conuerted, that they should finally fall away, and the grace of God should be at length extinguished, and be finally ouercome by the resistance of the flesh.

XXI. We deny, that security or contempt of the word can follow from such drawing, seeing that that grace it selfe doth create in vs care and diligence. See I pray, how ill these things square together, and how vnfitly it is said that the grace of God doth hinder godly carefulnesse, seeing that this carefulnesse it selfe is a part of grace: For how should grace, by which a man is regenerated, corrupt him? Or how should grace, by which he is stirred vp and pricked forward, giue him ouer to a languishing idlenesse? Therefore they doe, as if I should say, that a man is killed by the resurrection, or that hee is blacked ouer with a white colour: For they say that negligence is brought by that grace which doth beget godly care.

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XXII. And there is no doubt but that the same absurdity may be drawne from the opinion of Ar∣minius, whereby he thinkes that some men are drawne of God by a congruent and agreeable manner and time, by which, they that are called doe most certainly follow. For I may say that by this doctrine mens con∣sciences are cast into a deep sleep: for there wil be some men who will speake thus: To what purpose is it to be carefull? Our endeauor is in vaine if we are not drawn after a congruent manner. And I doubt whether I am drawne after a congruent manner, or no. Hence com∣meth negligence, and a faith floating in vncertainty.

XXIII. That is no better which they adde, That to some men there is matter of perpetuall doubtings so long as they feele no such drawing. This absurdity is very absurdly vrged by the Arminians, who, with all their power, doe impugne the certainty of saluati∣on whilest they command men to doubt of perseue∣rance. For let vs imagine that doubtings of saluati∣on are bred by this our doctrine: Doe they con∣demne that in vs which they alow in themselues? Wee doe not deny that doubtings doe sometimes creepe on godly and good men, but yet those doubt∣ings must needes diminish little by little, as they are more affected with the sence of the grace of God, and as their faith is increased. But it is not needefull that he who is already conuerted and doth beleeue, should feele himselfe to be drawne vnresistibly, that is, to be so drawne as he cannot resist. For wee place the infallible certainty of conuersion not in the sence of man, who doth feele that hee cannot resist, but in the decree of God, by which it must needes be that

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they come to Christ whom hee hath elected to salua∣tion. So the cause that the bones of Christ could not be broken, was not in the hardnesse of those bones, but in the purpose of God, who forbad they should be broke. And therefore it may come to passe, that they who shall certainely be saued by the decree of God, doe not certainely know of their saluation, and are often troubled with rising doubts. There are some to whom, after many yeeres of their life led so∣berly and godly, the confidence of saluation is at last giuen them at their death. Nor is it needefull that the faithfull man should trie himselfe whether hee be drawne with an vnresistible power, but whether after serious and earnest repentance hee doth so wholy rest himselfe in the death of Christ, and in the promise of God, that thereby he might be stirred vp to piety, and to the feare of God. Whosoeuer doth feele himselfe to be thus affected, ought not scrupulously to weigh and examine the poyses and drammes of the efficacy of the spirit of God, and of vnconquerable grace, but so to order himselfe, that he may represse his ri∣sing doubts by prayer, and by the remembrance of the promises of God, and that hee may breake and bruise the serpentine power of his lusts resisting the Spirit.

XXIV. And if any one doth otherwise, we are not they who can preuent all euils, or cure vices; knowing that by the best documents and lessons, the occasion of sinning may be taken, and that the best things may be wrested to the worse part.

XXV. I omit, that these Sectaries ioyne those things which cannot be coupled together, and doe

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make those things apposite and agreeing, which are opposite and disagreeing. For they faigne, that hee that hath true faith, may doubt whether he be serious∣ly and indeede conuerted. Which surely is impossi∣ble: for true faith doth stirre vp in man, serious and true repentance, and the loue of God, which cannot be in man but it must be felt.

XXVI. Finally, the discommodities which these Se∣ctaries doe pick out of our doctrine may be auoided: but the doctrine of the Arminians doth enwrap mens consciences, in vnauoydable euills. For hereby is man puffed vp with pride, teaching, that man can separate himselfe: that he can conuert himself: that he can con∣uert himself before he be conuerted in act by God: that man hath wherof he may boast: that God is bound to giue him sufficient grace: that God doth giue to man, what he is indebted to him: that the grace of God is not the totall cause of faith: that the grace of God is subiected to mans free-will. And on the other side Arminianism doth vexe mens consciences with a carefull doubting. For who can be certaine of his sal∣uation, if our saluation is not certaine by the election and decree of God? And if the number of the elect be not certaine by the will of God? Or if God hath elected no man, but being considered as already dead? Or if the certainty of saluation doth rest on the strength of free-will, in the power whereof it is to per∣seuere, or not to perseuere? to beleeue or not to be∣leeue? to cause that God should be partaker of his desire, or should faile of his propounded end? Sure∣ly if there be place giuen to this deadly doctrine, faith and Christian humilitie is lost. For it must needs

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be that they must be most doubtfull, who are most proud. It must needes be that the expectation of those men must hang in suspence, who make the will of man, a floating and vnstable thing, the foundation of their hope. Surely Satan doth therefore puffe vp these men with pride, that they might be burst in pieces, and doth lift them vp on high, that being cast downe from on high, he might more grieuously break them and crush them to pieces.

XXVII. But to that our obiection, by which we said, That if God doth worke in vs onely by the manner of perswasion, he is not the efficient cause of faith, but onely the stirrer vp thereof by the manner of an obiect; as Satan himselfe doth make it mani∣fest, who is not the efficient cause of the sinne of man, although he doth stirre vp and instigate, and worke effectually in the sonnes of rebellion; to this obiecti∣on the Arminians answere nothing: But they ob∣iect on the contrary side, If God (say they) doth con∣uert those which are his (which are farre the lesser part) vn∣resistibly, and Satan doth auert and turne away the greater part resistibly, therin Satan is of more power then God, who by lesse and inferiour helpes can execute his purpose in ma∣ny more men. These good men doe alwaies put that their word vnresistibly, for certainely and infallibly. But to the purpose, I deny that they whom God doth draw and effectually conuert, are fewer then they whom Satan doth auert and turne away. Indeede it is not to be doubted but that some in the beginnings of their conuersion, are remoued from that beginning by the subtlety of Satan; But these are but few in comparison of them who neuer felt any assaults, or

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pricks of repentance: Satan doth not auert these, seeing these are auerse by their owne nature. And whatsoeuer Satan doth is but small in comparison of the efficacy of the spirit of God in the elect. For Sa∣tan found men prone to sinne, and thrust them fore∣ward that were falling; nor is it any doubt but that the reprobates are not carried so much by the impul∣sion of Satan, as by their owne. Certainly it is a grea∣ter thing to heale a few that are deadly wounded, then to exacerbate and make more angry & grieuous the wounds of many, and to poure vinegar on the Vlcer: It is farre more easie to thrust them forward that are fal∣ling, then to raise them that are fallen: to kill ten that are about to die, then to restore one to life that is dead.

XXVIII. And here they exclaime, that mans na∣ture is auerted and ouerthrowne, while it is necessari∣ly determined and limited to one thing. I answere; If by the word necessitie be vnderstood not constraint nor naturall necessitie (such as is the poise and incli∣nation of all heauy things to the center of the world,) but an infallible certainty, and that voluntary and spontaneus, by such a necessity nature is not ouer∣throwne. The nature of Angels is necessarily deter∣mined and limited to that which is good, and yet it is not therefore ouerthrowne. Our nature is necessari∣ly determined and directed to the desiring of felicity, and yet it is not therefore destroyed. The will of the Israelites, whose hearts God touched, that they should cleaue vnto Saul, 1 Sam. 10.26. The will of Esau yeel∣ding with a suddaine change to the embracing of his brother, Gen. 33. The will of the Thiefe crucified with Christ; and of Paul, in the very point of conuersion,

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were determined & limited to one thing; and yet force was not therefore offered to their free-will, or their nature destroyed. The vehemency of him that is thir∣stie mouing him to the drinke that is offered, is deter∣mined and limited to that one thing, and yet he doth not therefore cease to be a man, nor is his nature therefore ouerthrowne. God hath some secret and vn∣perceiueable meanes, by which he can bow mans will, the liberty thereof being vntouched.

Notes

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