Moulin, Peter Du

, a very celebrated French protestant minister, and of the same family with Charles da Moulin, was born at Vexin Oct. 18, 1568. He imbibed the rudiments of literature at Sedan; and, when he arrived at twenty years of age, was sent to finish his education in England, where he became a member of Christ college in Cambridge. After a residence of four years in England, he went to Holland in the retinue of the duke of Wirtemberg, but was shipwrecked in his passage, and lost all his books and baggage. This occasioned his elegant poem entitled “Votiva Tabula,” which did him great credit, and procured him many friends. The French ambassador became one of his patrons (for Henry IV. at that time sent protestant ambassadors into protestant countries), and recommended him to the queen- mother, by whose interest he obtained the professorship of philosophy at Leyden, then vacant. This he held for five or six years; and among other disciples, who afterwards became celebrated, be had 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 enabled to enter with great spirit and success into the controversies with the catholics. Scaliger was very much his patron; and when Du Moulin published his Logic at Ley. den in 1596, said of the epistle prefatory, “haec epistola non est hujus sevi.” He taught Greek also in the divinity schools, in which he was extremely well skilled, as appears from his book entitled “Novitas Papismi,” where he exposes cardinal Perron’s ignorance of that language.

In 1599 he went to Paris, to be minister at Charenton, and chaplain to Catharine of Bourbon, the king’s sister, who was then married to Henry of Lorraine, duke of Bar,


Biog, Universeile, art. Dumoulin. —Moreri. —Saxii Onomast.

| and continued a determined protestant in spite of all attempts to convert her. The pope applied to Henry IV. concerning the conversion of his sister, and Henry employed his divines to argue with her; but Du Moulin strengthened her sentiments against all their artifices. Perron and Cotton were the men chiefly employed, with whom Du Moulin had frequent conflicts; and when Henry begged her only to hear his chaplains preach, she consented to hear father Cotton, who was immediately ordered to preach before the king and his sister in the very place where Du Moulin had preached before. On this occasion, to secure herself the better against the wiles of this Jesuit, she contrived to have Du Moulin so placed that he might hear all that Cotton said.

Though Henry IV. did not much relish Du Moulin’s endeavours to convert his sister, yet he had always a great regard for him, of which Du Moulin retained a very grateful remembrance; and after the death of Henry, in 1610, he publicly charged the murder of that monarch upon Cotton and the whole order of Jesuits. It had been said that Ravillac was excited to that desperate act by some opinions derived from the writings of the Jesuits, of Mariana in particular, touching the persons and authority of kings: upon which account father Cotton published an “Apologetical Piece,” to shew that the doctrine of the Jesuits was exactly conformable to the decrees of the council of Trent. This was answered by Du Moulin in a book entitled “Anticotton or, a Refutation of Father Cotton” in which he endeavoured to prove that the Jesuits were the real authors of that execrable parricide though some indeed have doubted whether he was the author of that book. In 1615, James I. who had long corresponded with Du Moulin by letters, invited him to England; but this invitation his church at Paris would not suffer him to accept 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 honoured with a doctor’s degree and, at his departure from England, presented him with a prebend in the church of Canterbury. Du Moulin had afterwards innumerable disputes with the Jesuits, who, when they found him deaf to their promises of great rewards, 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, hut were forbidden to go by the king upon pain of death. In 1618 he had an invitation from Leyden to fill their divinity chair, which was vacant, but refused to accept of it. In 1620, when he was preparing to go to the national synod of the Gallican church, lord 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, who then stood in need of it. Du Moulin at first 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 lord Herbert, who suspected that his letters to the king were intercepted; and who advised him to fly, as the only means of providing for his safety. He went to Sedan, where he accepted the divinity-professorship and the ministry of the church; both which he held to the time of his death, which happened March 10, 1658, in his ninetieth year. He took a journey into England in 1623, when cardinal Perron’s book was published against king James; and, at that king’s instigation, undertook to answer it. This answer was published at Sedan, after the death of James, under the title of “Novitas Papismi, sive Perronii confutatio, regisque Jacobi, sed magis sacrae veritatis de-< fensio.” He was the author of many other learned works, of whiph the principal are, “The Anatomy of Arminianism;” “A Treatise on the Keys of the Church” “The Capuchin, or History of the Monks” “A Defence of the Reformed Churches,” &c. &c. 1


The best account we have seen of Du Moulin is that in Bates’s Vit Sleo toruin Virorum. - —Saxii Onomast.