Moulin (Lat Molinaeus), Pierre Du (1)

Moulin (Lat. Molinaeus), Pierre du (1)

a French Protestant divine of great note for his opposition to the Romanists, especially the Jesuits, was born at Buhy, in the Vexin, October 18, 1568. He studied first at the Protestant school in Sedan, and next at the English high school at Cambridge, from which university he removed, after a four-years' stay, to accept the professorship of philosophy at Leyden. This professorship he held for five or six years, and had several disciples who afterwards became famous; among the rest, Hugo Grotius. He read lectures upon Aristotle, and disciplined his scholars in the art of disputing, of which he made himself so great a master that he was always the scourge and terror of the papists. Scaliger was very much his patron, and when Du Moulin published his Logic at Leyden in 1596 was so gracious as to say of the epistle prefatory, "Haec epistola non est hujus aevi." In the divinity schools he also taught Greek, in which he was extremely well skilled, as appears from his book entitled Novitas Papismi, in which he exposes cardinal Perron's ignorance of that language. In 1599 he returned to France, and became minister at Charenton, near Paris, and chaplain to Catharine of Bourbon, the king's sister, and then the wife of Henry of Lorraine. It is generally believed that Catharine's faithfulness to the Protestant cause is due to Du Moulin's influence. On the assassination of Henry IV, Da Moulin charged the guilt of that detestable deed upon the Jesuits, which produced a violent controversy between him and some of that society. Cotton, a Jesuit, then chaplain at court, was vainly struggling to free the Society of Jesus from the imputation which had been generally placed upon it that Ravaillac had been incited by them and their doctrines to this bloody deed, and finally even published a book in defence of the order. Du Moulin, however, believing the Jesuits guilty, replied in his Anti- Cotton, or a Refutation of Father Cotton, wherein is proved that the Jesuits were the real authors of that execrable parricide. In 1615, James I, who had long been in correspondence with Du Moulin by letters, invited him to England; but his Church would not suffer him to go till he had given a solemn promise in the face of his congregation that he would return to them at the end of three months. The king received him with great affection; took him to Cambridge at the time of the commencement, where he was honored with a doctor's degree; and at his departure from England presented him with a prebend in the church of Canterbury. On his return to France, Du Moulin had again innumerable disputes with the Jesuits; and when they found that nothing was to be done with him in this way, they made use of others. They tried to bring him over to them by the promise of great rewards; and they attempted more than once his life, so that he was obliged at length always to have a guard. In 1617, when the United Provinces desired the Reformed churches of England, France, and Germany to send some of their ministers to the Synod of Dort, Du Moulin and three others were deputed by the Gallican Church, but were forbidden to go by the king upon pain of death. In 1618 he had an invitation from Leyden to fill the divinity chair, which was vacant, but he refused it. In 1620, when he was preparing to go to the National Synod of the Gallican Church, baron Herbert of Cherbury, then ambassador from Britain at the court of France, asked him to write to king James, and to urge him, if possible, to undertake the defence of his son-in-law, the king of Bohemia. Du Moulin declined the office; but the ambassador, knowing his interest with James, would not admit of any excuse. This brought him into trouble, for it was soon after decreed by an order of Parliament that he should be seized and imprisoned for having solicited a foreign prince to take up arms for the Protestant churches. Apprised of this, he secretly betook himself to the ambassador Herbert, who, suspecting that his letters to the king were intercepted, advised him to fly, as the only means of providing for his safety. Du Moulin finally went to Sedan, and there accepted the divinity professorship and the ministry of the Church, both which he held till the time of his death, which occurred March 10, 1658. In 1623, when cardinal Perron's book was published against king James, Du Moulin took a journey into England, and at the king's instigation answered it in a work published at Sedan, after the death of James, under the title of Novitas Papismi, sive Perronii confutatio, reqgisque Jacobi, sed magis sacrce veritatis defensio. A list of Du Moulin's works, to the number of seventy-five, is given by Aymon (Synodes de France, 2:273). He also published many of his sermons. He was a violent opponent of Arminianism, and attacked Amyraldus (q.v.) bitterly in his De Moses Amyraldi Libro judicium. His most important works are, The Buckler of the Faith, or a Defence of the Confession of the Reformed Churches in France against M. Arnoux, the Jesuit (3d ed. Lond. 1631, 4to): — Le Combat Chretien (8vo): — Anatomie de la Messe (Sedan, 1636, 12mo). See Nicholls, Calvinism and Arminianism compared, 1:224; Bates, Vitae, page 697 sq.; Sax, Onomasticon, 4:179; Haag, La France Protestante, 4:420; Schweizer, Centraldogmemn, 2:225 sq., 564 sq.; Ebrard, Dogmactik, volume 1, & 43; Vinet, Histoire de la Predication parmi les Reformes en France au 17me siecle (Par. 1860).

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