Moses Amyraut

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Moses Amyraut (September 1596 – January 8, 1664), also known as Amyraldus, was a French Protestant theologian and metaphysician. He is perhaps most noted for his modifications to Calvinist theology regarding the nature of Christ's atonement, which is referred to as Amyraldism or Amyraldianism.

Contents

Life

Born at Bourgueil, in the valley of the Changeon in the province of Anjou, his father was a lawyer, and, preparing him Moses for his own profession, sent him, on the completion of his study of the humanities at Orléans to the university of Poitiers.

At the university he took the degree of licentiate (BA) of laws. On his way home from the university he passed through Saumur, and, having visited the pastor of the Protestant church there, was introduced by him to Philippe de Mornay, governor of the city. Struck with young Amyraut's ability and culture, they both urged him to change from law to theology. His father advised him to revise his philological and philosophical studies, and read over Calvin's Institutions, before finally determining a course. He did so, and decided for theology.

He moved to the Academy of Saumur and studied under John Cameron, who ultimately regarded him as his greatest scholar. He had a brilliant course, and was in due time licensed as a minister of the French Protestant Church. The contemporary civil wars and excitements hindered his advancement. His first church was in Saint-Aignan, in the province of Maine. There he remained two years. The eminent theologian Jean Daillé, being then removed to Paris, advised the church at Saumur to secure Amyraut as his successor, praising him "as above himself." The university of Saumur at the same time had fixed its eyes on him as professor of theology. The great churches of Paris and Rouen also contended for him, and to win him sent their deputies to the provincial synod of Anjou.

Amyraut had left the choice to the synod. He was appointed to Saumur in 1633, and to the professor's chair along with the pastorate. On the occasion of his inauguration he maintained for thesis De Sacerdotio Christi. His co-professors were Louis Cappel and Josué de la Place, who also were Cameron's pupils. Very beautiful was the lifelong friendship of these three remarkable men, who collaborated in the Theses Salmurienses, a collection of theses propounded by candidates in theology prefaced by the inaugural addresses of the three professors. Full of energy, Amyraut very speedily gave to French Protestantism a new force.

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