This simple question was the center of the quarrel around Port-Royal and the efficacious grace in the 17th century in France. In fact, the defenders of Cornelius Jansen’s Augustinus argued that they agreed to state that those five propositions were heretical. However they didn’t recognize that they were in the posthume book of the bishop of Ypres.

In one word, I’m searching for an answer to the famous question de fait (question of fact) stated in the first Provinciale:

Celle de fait consiste à savoir si M. Arnauld est téméraire pour avoir dit dans sa Seconde Lettre : Qu’il a lu exactement le livre de Jansénius, et qu’il n’y a point trouvé les propositions condamnées par le feu Pape ; et néanmoins que, comme il condamne ces propositions en quelque lieu qu’elles se rencontrent, il les condamne dans Jansénius, si elles y sont.


The question of fact consisted in ascertaining whether M. Arnauld was guilty of presumption, for having asserted in his second letter that he had carefully perused the book of Jansenius, and that he had not discovered the propositions condemned by the late pope; but that, nevertheless, as he condemned these propositions wherever they might occur, he condemned them in Jansenius, if they were really contained in that work.

Was Arnauld right not to find the propositions?

So, in short, my question is:

  1. Are the propositions in Jansen's book?
  2. If yes, where exactly in the book? A page and/or quotation (even not translated) would be great.

Many thanks for your answers!

Reminder: the five propositions condemned are:

  1. Some of God's commandments are impossible to just men who wish and strive to keep them, considering the powers they actually have; the grace by which these precepts may become possible is also wanting to them.
  2. In the state of fallen nature no one ever resists interior grace.
  3. In order to merit or demerit, in the state of fallen nature, we must be free from all external constraint, but not from interior necessity.
  4. The Semi-Pelagians admitted the necessity of interior preventing grace for all acts, even for the beginning of faith; but they fell into heresy in pretending that this grace is such that man may either follow or resist it.
  5. It is Semi-Pelagian to say that Christ died or shed His blood for all men.


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