08 February, 2017

Pierre du Moulin (1568-1658) on Ezekiel 18:23

Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? (Ezek. 18:23).


 [Source: Anatomie of Arminianism (London: T. S. for Nathaniel Newbery, 1620), p. 250; emphasis added]

Ezekiel 18.23. God saith in these words; I am not delighted with the death of a sinner, but that he should be converted, and live. These words [contrary to the Arminians] say nothing else than that God will[s] not the death of that sinner who is converted: But if he be not converted, Arminius himself will not deny, but that God doth will his death—as the judge doth will the punishment of him that is guilty. God is not delighted with the death of a sinner, as he is a man, but yet no man can deny, but that God loveth the execution of his justice.



Richard A. Muller

[Source: “A Tale of Two Wills? Calvin, Amyraut, and Du Moulin on Ezekiel 18:23,” in Calvin and the Reformed Tradition on the Work of Christ and the Order of Salvation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2012); emphasis added]

As to the interpretation of Ezekiel 18[:23], the text clearly indicates that God ‘desires not the death of a sinner,’ but Du Moulin notes that this in no way declares that God is regretful or reluctant or that there is any change in the divine decree. Indeed, ‘it is without regret, and with a full approval, that God wills that a sinner, if he repents and returns, he will live and not perish.’ Those who continue in their sinful and impenitent state, however, will be punished, as the prophet Ezekiel himself declares in several places—‘justice,’ Du Moulin declares, is also a ‘virtue of God: and God does not exercise any of his virtues with regret’ ... In accord with Calvin’s interpretation [of Ezekiel 18:23], Du Moulin also indicated that the required repentance does not reflect a hypothetical intention to save the reprobate or an alteration in the divine decree.” (pp. 120-121).



More to come! (DV)

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