"... that there is no such a thing as preaching Christ and him crucified unless you preach what is now-a-days called Calvinism. I have my own ideas, and those I state boldly. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else" (The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, 1856).
"In the history of the church’s sanctification I don’t believe there has been a more valuable extra-biblical resource and tool than the Puritan Hard Drive... It holds some of the most priceless Reformed works of God-centered and Christ-glorifying truth that were ever penned." - Dr. Matthew McMahon, A Puritan's Mind.
If the joint verdict of Arminius himself, and of his English proselyte Hoord, will not turn the scale, let us add the testimony of a professed Jesuit, by way of making up full weight. When archbishop Laud's papers were examined, a letter was found among them, thus endorsed with that prelate's own hand: "March, 1628. A Jesuit's Letter, sent to the Rector at Bruxels, about the ensuing Parliament." The design of this letter was to give the Superior of the Jesuits, then resident at Brussels, an account of the posture of civil and ecclesiastical affairs in England; an extract from it I shall here subjoin: "Father Rector, let not the damp of astonishment seize upon your ardent and zealous soul, in apprehending the sodaine and unexpected calling of a Parliament. We have now many strings to our bow. We have planted that soveraigne drugge Arminianisme, which we hope will purge the Protestants from their heresie; and it flourisheth and beares fruit in due season. For the better prevention of the Puritanes, the Arminians have already locked up the Duke's (of Buckingham) eares; and we have those of our owne religion, which stand continually at the Duke's chamber, to see who goes in and out: we cannot be too circumspect and carefull in this regard. I am, at this time, transported with joy, to see how happily all instruments and means, as well great as lesser, co-operate unto our purposes. But, to return unto the maine fabricke:--OUR FOUNDATION IS ARMINIANISME. The Arminians and projectors, as it appeares in the premises, affect mutation. This we second and enforce by probable arguments."9
The Sovereign Drug Arminianism
The "Sovereign drug, Arminianism," which said the Jesuit, "we (i.e. we Papists) have planted" in England, did indeed bid fair "to purge our Protestant Church effectually. How merrily Popery and Arminianism, at that time, danced hand in hand, may be learned from Tindal: "The churches were adorned with paintings, images, altar-pieces, & etc. and, instead of communion tables, alters were set up, and bowings to them and the sacramental elements enjoined. The predestinarian doctrines were forbidden, not only to be preached, but to be printed; and the Arminian sense of the Articles was encouraged and propagated."10 The Jesuit, therefore, did not exult without cause. The "sovereign drug," so lately "planted," did indeed take deep root downward, and bring forth fruit upward, under the cherishing auspices of Charles and Laud. Heylyn, too, acknowledges, that the state of things was truly described by another Jesuit of that age, who wrote: "Protestantism waxeth weary of itself. The doctrine (by the Arminians, who then sat at the helm) is altered in many things, for which their progenitors forsook the Church of Rome: as limbus patrum; prayer for the dead, and possibility of keeping God's commandments; and the accounting of Calvinism to be heresy at least, if not treason."11
Arminianism From the Pit
The maintaining of these positions, by the Court divines, was an "alteration" indeed; which the abandoned Heylyn ascribes to "the ingenuity and moderation found in some professors of our religion." If we sum up the evidence that has been given, we shall find its amount to be, that Arminianism came from the Church of Rome, and leads back again to the pit whence it was digged.
+ The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink This is the best contemporary book explaining the foundations of Calvinism. This book is like a key that, by God's grace, opens the door of understanding to some of the most blessed truths in Scripture. From the myriad of testimonies that we have heard concerning how God has used this book, we think that we can safely say that this is also the best book to pass on to those that you want to introduce to Calvinism.
+ LUTHER, MARTIN The Bondage of the Will (tenth printing 1998)
Luther recognized this book as his most important work and even said that if all his other books perished, he would hope that this one, along with his Small Catechism, would be the only ones to remain. As noted above, this is one of the most important books of the early Reformation, for it deals with what Luther saw to be the heart of the Gospel.
Luther here refutes the Romish notion of "free will" in man and upholds the absolute sovereignty of God in the salvation of sinners -- as well as justification by faith alone. Luther clearly saw the issue of free will as the primary cause of his separation from Rome.