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 26, 2024.



Of the Antecedent and consequent will of God.

DAmascen in his second Booke of Orthodox faith, Chap. 29. doth set downe two wils of God; the one 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Antecedent; the other 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that is, Consequent. Ar∣minius hath catched this distinction, and doth place in it the chiefe strength of his Doctrine; and as often as he is vrged by our side, he creepes into this denne, as the Lyzard into the thickets.

I. The Antecedent will of God, hee saith is that, whereby God doth will any thing to the reasonable crea∣ture, before all the actions of it, or before any act of that creature; but the consequent is that, whereby he doth will any thing to the reasonable creature, after any one act, or after many acts, of the creature. To the explication of which distinction, he bringeth these examples. God (saith he) by his Antecedent will, would stablish and confirme for euer the kingdome of Saul; by his Con∣sequent will, he would put him from his kingdome, and substitute in his place a man better then he. Christ by his Antecedent will, would gather the Iewes as a Henne gathereth her Chickens; but by his Conse∣quent will, hee would ••••atter them through all the Nations. By his Antecedent will, they are cited to the marriage; which by his Consequent will, were decla∣red vnworthy, Matth. 22. By his Antecedent will, the man without the wedding garment was inuited; by

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his Consequent will, he was cast out. By his Antece∣dent will, the talents are giuen; by his Consequent will, the talent is taken from the seruant.

II. The one of these willes is called the Antece∣dent will, the other is called the Consequent; not be∣cause that will goeth before this, for in this sense, this distinction may be admitted, because there is a certaine order among the purposes of God: Thus his will of creating man, was in order before his will of feeding or cloathing him: But with Damascen and Ar∣minius, it is called the Anrecedent will of God, be∣cause it goeth before the act of mans will; and they call that the consequent will of God, which is after the will of man, and doth depend vpon it. This Arminius doth cleerely teach in his definitions before laide downe.

III. Betweene these two willes of God hee puts this difference, that the Antecedent will of God, may be resisted, the consequent cannot. Hee would haue it, that God should be disappointed in his antece∣dent will, and faile of his propounded end; But the consequent will of God cannot he frustrated, but it must necessarily be fulfilled: for hee thinks that God doth not alwaies attaine to that which hee intends, and that sometimes hee is disappointed of that parti∣cular end which he propounds to himselfe; and that God is prepared to doe that which from eternity he knoweth he shall not doe; whence it comes to passe, that he hath prepared himselfe in vaine, and that by his consequent will, which is eternall, certaine, and immutable, hee hath decreed to harden those repro∣bates, which by his antecedent will he is prepared to

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mollifie and conuert: And so he is prepared to doe, that which he hath decreed not to doe.

IV. Betweene these two wils of God (if any cre∣dit may be giuen to Arminius,) doth mans will come in, which doth cause, that God doth reuoke his ante∣cedent will, which is farre the best; and being dri∣uen from his propounded end, doth turne himselfe to another thing, then that which at the first he had in∣tended: so farre, that Vorstius saith, Disput. de Deo. p. 65. that God afterward will not doe some things, which before he had promised, yea sworne that he would doe.

V. If any Doctrine be contumelious against God, this is, accusing him of folly, putting vpon him hu∣maine affections, and falsely attributing to him wishes of no strength, and a desire of no force: as if they should bring in God speaking thus: I doe indeed ear∣nestly desire to saue you, but ye hinder, that I can∣not doe what I desire; I would if you would: there∣fore seeing by you I am frustrated of my intent, I will change my purpose of sauing you, and my will be∣ing otherwise bent, I haue determined to destroy you for euer. It is certainely plaine, that this Antecedent will of God, is not a will; but a desire and wish, which God doth obtaine onely by entreaty, and as much as he may, by mans good pleasure. Therefore Arminius doth oftentimes call this will, a desire and naturall affection, and it is common to these secta∣ries to take those places, Psal. 81.14. Esa. 48.18. where God is brought in speaking, as one wishing and de∣siring, and disappointed of his wish, as if they were properly spoken, when these things are spoken by an Anthropopathy and after the manner of men.

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VI. Furthermore, how grieuous a thing it is to be defrauded of ones desire and naturall affection, and how disagreeing this is to God, who doth not see, vnlesse it be he that will willingly be deceiued? For if God be most perfectly good, yea goodnesse it selfe, it must needes be, that his affections and naturall de∣sires (if he haue any) are of highest sanctity, iustice, and perfection: and therefore nothing is so much to be wished, as that that naturall affection might be ful∣filled, and that God might obtaine his desired end. There is cause therefore that wee should grieue for Gods cause, who is deceiued of that end which is farre the best, and who might be made partaker of his wish, if man would let him. See whether the wit of these nouators doth plunge it selfe, and how honou∣rably they thinke of God. Hitherto belong those im∣pious and wicked speeches of Vorstius; who doth af∣firme, that something doth happen vnexpected to God, and which is bitter and very distastfull to him, and doth (although it be vnproperly spoken) bring very great griefe to him, and which doth proceede, not from his Ante∣cedent, but from his Consequent will, hauing tryed all things in vaine; Which speach, doth doubtlesse abase God below the state of man: For if any such thing should happen, euen amongst men, and any ones endeauour, hauing tryed all things in vaine, should be deluded, it would be an argument, either of imprudency, or weakenesse, or infidelity. There is cause therefore we should lament the state of God, who vsing an vnpro∣sperous successe, hath so ill performed the busi∣nesse.

VII. It is also absurd, yea impious to affirme,

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that God, to whom all things from eternity are not onely foreseene, but also prouided for; should in∣tend any thing that from eternity hee knew would not come to passe, and to haue propounded an end to himselfe, to which he knew he should not attaine; as if one should leuell at a marke which is not, nor euer will be: For if God from eternity knoweth that this man shall be damned, in vaine doth hee wish from e∣ternity, that he should be saued: and hee doth from eternity know that he shall not be partaker of his na∣turall desire, and his antecedent will.

VIII. What a thing is it, that hereby there is brought in resistance betweene these two wils of God, the latter of which doth correct the former? for by this Antecedent will, God doth desire to doe that, which from eternity he is certaine hee shall not doe. And God is imagined doing something hardly and vnwillingly, and against that end which hee had first intended, because mans will comes betweene, by which it comes to passe, that God doth cease from that end propounded to himselfe, which was farre bet∣ter, as if per 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, vpon a second aduise, he should obtaine some secondary good. Arminius doth not dissemble this, whose words are these: God doth seriously desire all men should be saued, but being compel∣led by the stubborne and incorrigible malice of some men he will haue them make losse of their saluation. But God doth nothing vnwillingly, neither can he be compelled by man, to the changing of his will.

IX. And if these weake affections and ineffectuall desires, of which he is disappointed, by the stepping betweene of mans will, be attributed to God, there is

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no doubt, but that God created man floting betweene his Antecedent and Consequent will; as not with∣out griefe fore-seeing the fall of man, and know∣ing that hee created a creature which would cer∣tainely perish, and yet hee would not abstaine from his creation, because his decree of creating man could not be abolished: so that God bound himselfe in those straights, out of which hee could not quit himselfe.

X. It is not also to be indured, that the will of God should remaine vncertaine, vntill the condition, vnder which God doth Antecedently will any thing, be either fulfilled or broken. For although the gene∣rall affection of God towards all men, be not made to depend on mans will, yet (according to Arminius) the effect thereof is vncertaine, vntill God by his conse∣quent will hath decreed to saue this or that man. But Arminius makes this Consequent will in God to de∣pend on mans free-will, and doth make it to come af∣ter faith, and the right vse of grace: Therefore Vor∣stius, a man of a sharpe wit, but of an vnfortunate au∣dacity, is bold to write that the will of God is after some manner mutable, and that some change may be made in some part of Gods decree.

XI. But although all the counsels of God are eter∣nall and immutable, neither can God be said to will any thing anew, which he hath not willed from eter∣nity; yet whosoeuer shall exactly consider this Con∣sequent will of God shall finde that it is made to come after his Antecedent will, not onely in order, but in time: For it is impossible that God should at one time desire to saue all men, and to damne some. And it

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must needes be, that the Antecedent will of God must cease, as blotted and raced out by his Conse∣quent, before there can be place for his Consequent will.

XII. And when the Apostle, Rom. 9. doth af∣firme, that the will of God cannot be resisted; by this di∣stinction, there is made a will of God which may be resisted, and the execution whereof may be hindred by man.

XIII. And here, if any where, we may see how little constant the Arminians are. For they doe con∣tend, that in the ninth Chapter to the Romanes, it is spoken of the Antecedent will of God, by which God will haue mercy vpon some, (for so they speake) that is, vpon such as beleeue, and not of his Consequent will, by which he hath determined precisely and ab∣solutely to haue mercy on this or that man: And yet they forgetting themselues, say, that this Antecedent will may be resisted; when notwithstanding Saint Paul saith in the same place. Who can resist his will? Ei∣ther therefore let Arminius deny, that the Antece∣dent will of God is a will, but rather call it a wish, de∣sire, or affection; or if he doth contend that it is a will, let him confesse that it cannot be resisted.

To which purpose, excellently Saint Austen, En∣chared. Cap. 95. Our God in heauen doth whatsoeuer things hee will, both in heauen and earth; which is not true, if hee hath willed some things, and hath not done them: And which is more vnworthy of him, hath not therefore done them, because the will of man hath hin∣dred that the Almighty should not doe what hee willed.

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XIV. Arminius indeede doth confesse, that God doth not want power to fulfill that Antecedent will, whereby he doth earnestly desire all men to be saued: But it is not true (saith he) that the thing which he doth wish & seriously desire, that he will effect the same by what meanes soeuer he is able, but by those meanes by which it is decent and conuement, that he should effect it. The Fa∣ther wisheth, and doth earnestly desire, that his Sonne would obey mn, but he doth not violently draw his Sonne to obe∣dience: and a little after. The similitude of a Merchant, who doth desire his wares should be safe, and yet casteth them into th sea, doth very well square and agree to the purpose. God doth earnestly desire that all men should be saued, but compelled by the stubborne and incorrigible ma∣lice of some men, will haue them make losse of their salua∣tion. For although God doth earnestly will and in∣tend the saluation of all and singular men, yet he will not then put forth his omnipotency, least hee should force mans free-will. I answere. Nothing is effected by these similitudes; for they are plaine dissimlitudes. Arminius vseth examples of men which cannot be made partakers of their vowes, but by meanes that are not conuenient; and of them who are oftentimes disappointed of their intention. But to God there are neuer wanting iust and conuenient meanes, by which he should obtaine that which he intends; neither can he be disappointed of his intent. But you say, if God should exercise his omnipotency, in conuerting man, he should force mans free-will, and compell mans vo∣luntary liberty. But that I deny: For he can without constraint so bend the will, that it should follow of its owne accord. Without constraint hee suddenly

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changed the minde of Esau, Gen. 33. and the minde of Saul, 1 Sam. 19.23. and the minde of the Aegyptians, Psal. 105.25. and of Kings, Pro. 21.1. If God doth make this change of the will in wicked men, the liber∣ty of mans free-will vntouched; how much more may hee doe it in good and faithfull men? God without constraint did change the heart of the Theefe on the Crosse, and so doth he of all, from whom hee takes their stony heart, and giues them an heart of flesh, Ezek 36.26. and of those, who when they were dead in sinne, hee raised vp with a spirituall resurrection, Ephes. 2.5. We shall see Arminius is of opinion, that the vnderstanding is vnresistably indued with light by God, and that God doth vnresistably giue power of beleeuing the Gospell to all men, to whom the Gos∣pell shall be preached, and that hee drawes their af∣fections: But when the minde hath fully receiued in this perswasion, and the affections doe stir vp the will, it is impossible but their will should moue it selfe, whe∣ther the minde, instructed by God, doth appoint it, and whether the appetite doth force it; for these are the onely incitements of the will, neither is it moued by any other impulsion. The schoole and followers of Arminius, are also of opinion, that the Elect are drawne of God by effectuall and powerfull grace, the effect whereof is most sure, because God doth draw them in a congruent and fit time and manner, in which he knoweth they will infallibly follow him, cal∣ling them: And yet the Arminians meane not here∣by that any force is offred to the will of man, but that it is so vehemently affected with a morall and sweet perswasion, that it followeth of its owne accord. The

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example of the Theefe, doth seeme to mee to be no∣table aboue all the other; whose heart so suddendly changed in a time of aduersity, when the faith of the Apostles themselues did shake, is an euident lesson, how great the efficacie of the holy Spirit is on them who are called by the purpose of God, Rom. 8.28. But of this efficacy of calling, it shall be spoken more at large in his proper place.

XV. Hence appeares with how prepostrous dili∣gence Arminius hath turned his wit to the defence of free-will. For there lay open to him a most sure and plaine way, whereby God might shew forth his pow∣er in the conuersion of man, without the diminishing of our liberty. Nor, while hee doth patronize and de∣fend free will, ought he to strike against the wisedome and perfection of God, whom hee would frustrate and disappoint of his owne end and naturall desire, and wish those things which he knowes hee shall not obtaine, and propound an end to himselfe which shall neuer be.

XVI. In the meane while, the prudent reader shall easily discerne whereto that similitude of the marchant making losse, and casting his wares into the sea, with his owne hands, may belong. For Arminius doth not onely expressely say that God is compelled to doe something which he had not intended, (for the marchant did not intend to doe this, but doth it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, nolens, volens, betweene willing, and nil∣ling) but also by these hee doth insinuate, that God being driuen from that better end which he had pro∣pounded to himselfe, turned himselfe to another end lesse to be wished; which things, whether they be

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spoken by prudent men to the reproach of God, or by vnwise men through ignorance, it doth strike hor∣ror into pious mindes.

XVII. But in this distinction of the will of God, into Antecedent and Consequent, the first whereof doth goe before, the other doth follow mans will; this is farre the worst thing, that by it, the will of man is made to goe before the election of God: For according to Arminius, God by his antecedent will would saue all men, and giue them power of beleeue∣ing in Christ; but by his consequent will, doth elect or reprobate seuerall men, according as hee fore-knowes their faith, or infidelity. A deadly doctrine, by which the election of man doth depend vpon mans will, and our faith is made the cause, and not the fruite of our election, and man chooseth God, and applyeth himselfe to God, before he is chosen of God: Whence it comes to passe, that on the one side, mans pride is blowne vp, as it were, with bel∣lowes, and on the other side, faith is vndermined, as it were, with trenches, and confidence doth decay: For what certainty can there be of our saluation, if our election depend vpon so instable a thing. But of these things more at large in their proper place. Now those examples with which Arminius doth support that double will of God, are to be exa∣mined.

XVIII. God (saith he) by his antecedent will would stablish the throne of Saule for euer; but by his consequent will, he would ouerthrow it, as it is 1. Sam. 13 13. but there is no such thing to be found; for Samuell doth not say, that God would stablish the

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kingdome of Saule; but he saith, God had established thy kingdome for euer; betweene which there is a great deale of difference: If God had established it, it had beene his will to stablish it: But because hee did not establish it; it is certaine it was not his will to esta∣blish it.

XIX. There is no more force at all in the other example. Christ (saith hee) by his antecedent will, would gather the Iewes, as a Hen gathereth her chic∣kens; but by his consequent will, hee would scatter them through all nations. Math. 22.37. But this place signifieth quite another thing. Christ speakes to Hie∣rusalem, and saith, that hee would haue gathered his children together; but Hierusalem her selfe resisted, with all her power. Hierusalem is one thing, and her children another, who here are expresly distinguished from the citty: By Hierusalem vnderstand the Priests, the Leuites, the Scribes, and the prince of the peo∣ple, for these did most of all withstand Christ: By the children of Hierusalem, understand the people. Christ saith, that hee would haue gathered together these children; neither is it to be doubted, but that he gathered together many of them, although the rulers were vnwilling. This place, therefore, maketh nothing for that Antecedent will, which these men would haue not to be fulfilled, when indeede it was fulfilled as much as seemed good to God. Then also these words, how often would I, they misvnderstand them of the Antecedent will, which is the decree of God; when to will, is here nothing else, then to inuite and command: So Saint Austen thinkes, Encherid. Chap. 97. Or rather (saith he) shee indeede would not

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haue had her children to be gathered together by him: but euen shee vnwilling, hee gathered those of her children whom he himselfe would 〈◊〉〈◊〉.

XX. The other examples are vnworthy that we should stay long vpon them. By his Antecedent will. (saith he) those were called to the wedding, which by his Consequent will were declared vnworthy: By his Antecedent will, hee without the wedding garment is inuited; by his Consequent will, hee is cast out. By his Antecedent will, the Gospell is offered to the Iewes; by his Consequent will, it is taken away. In all these things, that will of God, whereby men are called, is no other thing, then to command, and in∣uite, not to decree that by his Antecedent will, which afterward hee hath broken off by his Conse∣quent will.

XXI. Neither are wee scrupulously to enquire why God hath called them, whom hee knoweth will not follow. The end why God doth this, is euident, to wit, to require of men, that which they owe. To search any farther into the intent of God, is to make God obnoxious to accounts, and to breake into his secrets.

XXII. It is not to be ouerpassed, that Arminius will haue God, equally desire to saue all men by his An∣tecedent will, but when he is prepared to the effect, & execution of that will, he doth those things which are contrary to that will. For hee preacheth the Gospell to those that are very wicked, as to the men of Ca∣pernaum; he doth deny that fauour to those that are lesse wicked, as to the men of Tyrus & Sydon; and he doth suffer many wilde people and stupid, with their

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barbarous cruelty, to be ouerwhelmed in darkenesse. But why so? because (saith hee) their Ancestors refu∣sed the Gospell. O ridiculous reason! Should hee that doth equally desire the saluation of all, be hindred with so light an impediment, and which is contrary to his iustice, as shall afterward be taught? Thus though Arminius doth teach, that God would by his Antecedent will saue all seuerall men; it is yet mani∣fest by experience, that God through many ages hath denyed, and doth yet deny, to most nations, those meanes without which they cannot be saued, and doth onely supply those meanes, which meanes alone, none euer vsed well.

XXIII. But God (saith he) seeing hee is very good by nature, cannot but wish well to all men by his Antecedent and primary will; as being created af∣ter his own image. These things were spoken by them rightly, & agreeably to the nature of God, if we were borne without originall sinne: But seeing the image of God is almost blotted out, and in place of it, the image of the Diuell hath succeeded, no reason doth compell vs to beleeue that God is willing to saue all and singular men; but the holy Scripture doth teach, that some are saued by the meere grace of God, and by election, according to his purpose, the rest being left in their naturall perdition, and appointed to damnation for those sinnes which they were to com∣mit of their owne accord.

XXIV. All these things are not therefore spo∣ken, that we should reiect this distinction of the wil of God, into his Antecedent and Consequent will: For we know, that among the decrees of God, some are

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before, and some are after in order. But wee denie that there are two decrees of God, betweene which mans will steppeth in; as if mans will came betweene the decree of creating man, and the decree of con∣demning certaine men. But we denie that the will of man doth so come betweene the two decrees of God, that the first, or Antecedent decree is broken off by the will of man, and that God is compelled to absist from that end which he had propounded to himselfe, and which he did seriously intend: We deny also, in the worke of our election, the precise will of God to depend on the fore-seeing of any power or action of mans free-will; or the Consequent will of God to be suspended on mans will: Concerning which thing, it shall be diligently spoken in the proper place.


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