On Amyrauldianism & Hypothetical Universalism

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Order of Contents

On H.U. in the Reformed Tradition
The History of
.        Amyrauldianism
.        H.U.
Amyrauldian Writings
H.U. Writings
At Dort
The French Reformed Synods
At Westminster
Contra Amyrauldianism & H.U.
.        Articles & Books
.        Quotes


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On H.U. in the Reformed Tradition

Articles

Muller, Richard

‘Richard Muller on Hypothetical Universalism & the Reformed Tradition’  being selections from Drawn into Controversie: Reformed Theological Diversity and Debates Within Seventeenth-Century British Puritanism (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011), pp. 17-19, 24-25, 29-30

Muller argues here that both Amyraldian and non-Amyrauldian Hypothetical Universalism were understood and designed by their proponents to be within the confessional, reformed tradition.  To the reformed that disagreed, and strongly disagreed with them, the H.U.s were yet understood to be reformed brethren, though in significant error; they were not considered as holding to heresy.

‘Richard Muller on Non-Amyrauldian Precedents to Hypothetical Universalism’  being a review of English Hypothetical Universalism: John Preston and the Softening of Reformed Theology,” by Jonathan D. Moore. Reviewed by Richard A Muller, Calvin Theological Journal, 43 (2008), pp. 149-150

Muller cites as reformed H.U. precedents to Amyrauldianism:

Bullinger, Musculus, Ursinus & Zanchi. 

Other H.U.s Muller references are:

Preston, Carleton, Davenant, Ward, Goad, Hall, Martinius, Crocius, Alsted & Ussher. 

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Audio Lecture

Muller, Richard – ‘Revising the Predestination Paradigm: An Alternative to Supralapsarianism, Infralapsarianism and Hypothetical Universalism’  being the Fall Lecture series (2008?) at Mid-America Reformed Seminary

The three lectures are: ‘The Problem Stated’, ‘The Lapsarian Question,’ & ‘Varieties of Hypothetical Universalism’.  It may be possible to attain the lectures for around $15 through contacting Mid-America.


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On the History of Amyrauldianism

On John Cameron

Gootjes, Albert – ‘John Cameron (ca. 1579-1625) and the French Universalist Tradition’  in  The Theology of the French Reformed Churches  (RHB, 2014), pt. 2, pp. 169-196

This includes a short survey of Amyraut and a bit more detailed survey of La Place and Cappel.

Ponter, David – ‘John Cameron (1579-1625) and Moses Amyraut (1596-1664) on the Order of the Decrees’  2013

Muller, Richard – ‘Divine Covenants, Absolute and Conditional:  John Cameron and the Early Orthodox Development of Reformed Covenant Theology’  2006  46 pp.  in Mid-America Journal of Theology 17 (2006): 11-56

“Cameron’s understanding of absolute and hypothetical covenants as reflecting God’s love in its antecedent and consequent moments stands quite noticeably within the trajectories of Reformed orthodoxy, and also quite in accord with the orthodox views on the divine attributes and divine decrees found among Cameron’s
predecessors and contemporaries.

Certainly, Cameron’s understanding of the antecedent divine love looks toward Amyraut[‘s future work].  But none of these arguments stepped beyond the confessional boundaries of the Reformed churches, and none implies a rejection of the scholastic methods of the era, with their theses for disputation and careful distinctions, in favor of a more biblicistic and humanistic model.” – Conclusion, p. 55

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On Amyraut & Amyrauldianism

Articles

Gootjes, Albert

pp. 299-300  of ‘Polemics, Rhetoric & Exegesis: Claude Pajon (1626-1685) on Rom. 8:7’  in The Theology of the French Reformed Churches  (RHB, 2014), pt. 2

‘Calvin and Saumur: The Case of Claude Pajon (1626—1685)’  Church History and Religious Culture, vol. 91, No. 1/2, The Reception of John Calvin and His Theology in Reformed Orthodoxy (2011), pp. 203-214  There is an abstract at the bottom of the page.

Klauber, Martin – ‘Conflicts with the Amyraldians’, pp. 228-230 of ‘Defender of the Faith or Reformed Rabelais?  Pierre Du Moulin (1568-1658) and the Arminians’  in The Theology of the French Reformed Churches  (RHB, 2014), pt. 2

van Asselt, Willem – pp. 269-270 of ‘Andreas Rivetus (1572-1651): International Theologian and Diplomat’  in The Theology of the French Reformed Churches  (RHB, 2014), pt. 2.  Rivet was against HU.

McKee, R. Jane – pp. 293-5  of ‘The Pastoral & Polemical Theology of Charles Drelincourt (1595-1669)’  in The Theology of the French Reformed Churches  (RHB, 2014), pt. 2.  Drelincourt was against HU.

“…Drelincourt remained firmly on the side of the orthodox in this dispute.  He was close to Andre Rivet and to Pierre du Moulin, who is often mentioned in his twenty-six year correspondence with Rivet.  These two men, together with Guillaume Rivet, Andre’s younger brother, were the most determined opponents of Amyraut’s hypothetical universalism…”

Strehle, Stephen – ‘Universal Grace and Amyraldianism’  in Westminster
Theological Journal, 51 (1989), pp. 345-346

Strehle “tend[s] to place distance between Cameron’s thought and the orthodoxy of the era.” – Muller, Divine Covenants, pp. 12-13

Wenkel, David – ‘Amyraldianism: Theological Criteria for Identification and Comparative Analysis’  Download  Chafer Theological Seminary Journal, 11:2 (Fall 2005)

Mullan, David George – ‘A Hotter Sort of Protestantism? Comparisons between French and Scottish Calvinisms’  The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 39, No. 1 (Spring, 2008), pp. 45-69

Armstrong, Brian – ‘The Calvinism of Moïse Amyraut: The Warfare of Protestant Scholasticism and French Humanism’  Church History, vol. 37, No. 2 (Jun., 1968), pp. 205-206

This work is one of others which “has tended…  to argue the significance of his [Amyraut’s] thought as a humanistic, Calvinian protest against a rigid, Bezan Scholastic orthodoxy…” – Muller, Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 197

Ponter, David – ‘John Cameron (1579-1625) and Moses Amyraut (1596-1664) on the Order of the Decrees’  2013

Nicole, Roger R.

‘Amyraldianism’  in eds. Sinclair B. Ferguson & David F. Wright, New Dictionary of Theology  (Leicester: IVP, 1988)

“Amyraut intended to soften the edges of the traditional Reformed view and thus to relieve difficulties in the controversy with Roman Catholics and facilitate a reunion of Protestants in which Reformed and Lutheran could join ranks…  [it] tended to weaken the unity of Reformed thought and to open the door to increasing departures from Reformed orthodoxy.” – p. 17

‘Covenant, Universal Call and Definite Atonement’  in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society  38 (1995): pp. 403-411

This article “argue[s] that his [Amyraut’s] thought was a highly problematic deviation from the fundamental message of Calvin as well as from the orthodoxy of his time.” – Richard Muller, Theology of the French Reformed Churches, pp. 197-8

Sabean, David W. – ‘The Theological Rationalism of Moise Amyraut’  Buy  Archiv fur Reformationgeschichte 55 (1964): pp. 204-215

Muller says that this is an exception to most of the other works about Amyraut which tend portray his theology as a humanistic, Calvinian protest against a rigid Bezan Scholastic orthodoxy, or as a highly problematic deviation from the fundamental message of Calvin and the orthodoxy of his time.

Muller, Richard

pp. 197-200  of ‘Beyond Hypothetical Universalism: Moise Amyraut (1596-1664) on Faith, Reason and Ethics’  in The Theology of the French Reformed Churches  (RHB, 2014), pt. 2

“With few exceptions, virtually all of the recent scholarly literature devoted to him [Amyraut] has tended either to argue the significance of his thought as a humanistic, Calvinian protest against a rigid, Bezan Scholastic orthodoxy, or to argue that his thought was a highly problematic deviation from the fundamental message of Calvin as well as from the orthodoxy of his time.

More recent study has argued that both of these older approaches misrepresent Amyraut.  Opposition to his doctrine was not uniformly ‘Bezan.’  Amyraut’s doctrine, although hardly a reprise of Calvin, arguably fell within confessional boundaries set by the Canons of Dort: it was never formally condemned as a heresy.  In addition, Amyraut’s method of argumentation was just as ‘Scholastic’ as that of his opponents and, indeed, depended on a series of Scholastic distinctions.

Although there is merit in continuing this discussion, particularly when it is directed toward identifying the actual historical situation of Amyrauldian thought rather than debating the nature of what one writer has unfortunately identified as ‘authentic Calvinism,’ focus on the controversy can obscure the broader significance of Amyraut’s work, specifically those intellectual contributions that were highly regarded by virtually all of his Reformed contemporaries, including those who disagreed with him on the controversial point of hypothetical universalism.

“He [Amyraut] received early support from the provincial Synod of Isle de France and, despite continuing opposition, was cleared of charges at the Synods of Alencon (1637) [below], Charenton (1644-1645) [below], and Loudon (1659).  Amyraut died at Saumur in 1664.  His teachings, together with those of Cappel and La Place, were subsequently censured in the Formula Consensus Helvetica (1675), albeit never declared heretical.” – Richard Muller, Theology of the French Reformed Churches, pp. 197-8, 200

‘A Tale of Two Wills: Calvin and Amyraut on Ezekiel 18:23’  in Calvin Theological Journal 44 (2009): 211-25

“Amyraut, however, builds on Calvin’s argument and, indeed, claims to be interpreting and clarifying it by arguing two mercies and two wills in God where Calvin did not; in fact where Calvin had specifically stated that the will of God is one and simple, albeit with distinctions that can be observed in its revelation.  Where Calvin resolved the issue of the universal call and particular election by simply declaring a resolution in the fact that, as promised, the repentant are saved, Amyraut indicated a double divine intentionality…

Even if Amyraut had added, as he would do at the Synod of Alençon, that his language of two decrees was by rational distinction and intended “without any succession of Thought, or Order of Priority and Posteriority” in God, his exegesis still would differ from Calvin’s in its postulation of two divine mercies and two intentions.  The exegesis of the particular text, therefore, does not fully support those who appeal to it in order to interpret Amyraut as a precise follower of Calvin…

Amyraut offered his own conclusion, modifying and supplementing Calvin’s argument with a concept of two wills in God—a scholastic distinction not found in Calvin’s reading of the text and related, probably, to Amyraut’s own training under John Cameron.” – p. 224

‘Richard Muller on Amyraut’  selections from Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 1:76-77, 79-80, 2:15 and ‘Divine Covenanters, Absolute and Conditional: John Cameron and the Early Orthodox Development of Reformed Covenant Theology,’ Mid-America Journal of Theology 17 (2006), 36-37

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Books

Proctor, Lawrence – The Theology of Moyse Amyraut Considered as a Reaction against Seventeenth-Century Calvinism  PhD diss.  (Univ. of Leeds, 1952)

This work is one of others which “has tended…  to argue the significance of his [Amyraut’s] thought as a humanistic, Calvinian protest against a rigid, Bezan Scholastic orthodoxy…” – Muller, Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 197

Sabean, David W. – Moise Amyraut and Rationalism  Masters thesis  (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, 1961)

Muller says that this is an exception to most of the other works about Amyraut which tend portray his theology as a humanistic, Calvinian protest against a rigid Bezan Scholastic orthodoxy, or as a highly problematic deviation from the fundamental message of Calvin and the orthodoxy of his time.

Nicole, Roger R. – Moyse Amyraut: a Bibliography with Special Reference to the Controversy on Universal Grace, First Phase (1634-1637)  PhD Diss.  (Harvard Univ., 1966)

1634 was when Amyraut published his tract on predestination.  1637 was when the Synod of Alancon cleared him and Testard, with some exhortations to them (see the record of their transactions below).

Nicole’s works “argue that his [Amyraut’s] thought was a highly problematic deviation from the fundamental message of Calvin as well as from the orthodoxy of his time.” – Richard Muller, Theology of the French Reformed Churches, pp. 197-8

Armstrong, Brian G. – Calvinism and the Amyraut Heresy; Protestant Scholasticism and Humanism in Seventeenth-Century France  (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1969)

This work is not wholly trustworthy, as Armstrong was a main proponent of the Calvin vs. the Calvinists thesis, though the book has much valuable information in it.

Grohman, Donald Davis – The Genevan Reactions to the Saumur Doctrines of Hypothetical Universalism: 1635-1685  Th.D. diss.  (Knox College in cooperation with Toronto School of Theology, 1971)

This work is one of others which “has tended…  to argue the significance of his [Amyraut’s] thought as a humanistic, Calvinian protest against a rigid, Bezan Scholastic orthodoxy…” – Muller, Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 197

Pope, John M. – Aspects of Controversies Concerning the Doctrine of Grace Aroused by the Teachings of Claude Pajon  a PhD disseratation  (St. Andrews, 1974)

Nicole, Roger – Moyse Amyraut: Bibliography with Special Reference to Universal Grace  (New York: Garland, 1981)

van Stam, F.P. – The Controversy over the Theology of Saumur, 1635-1650.  Disrupting Debates among the Huguenots in Complicated Circumstances  (Amsterdam: APA-Holland Univ. Press, 1988)

This work is one of others which “has tended…  to argue the significance of his [Amyraut’s] thought as a humanistic, Calvinian protest against a rigid, Bezan Scholastic orthodoxy…” – Muller, Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 197

“Frans Pieter van Stam, whose comprehensive historical study of the Amyraut controversy leans heavily in favour of the Amyraldians…” – Martyn J. McGeown, ‘A Critical Examination…’

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French Articles

Saigey, Charles Edmond – ‘Moise Amyraut, Life & Writings’  (Strasbourg, 1849)  50 pp.

Sabatier, Andrew – ‘A Historical Study on the Hypothetical Universalism of Moise Amyraut’  (Toulouse, 1867)  45 pp.


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On the History of Non-Amyrauldian Hypothetical Universalism

Articles

Muller, Richard – ‘Dating John Davenant’s De Gallicana controversia sententia in the Context of Debate over John Cameron: A Correction’  2015  12 pp.

Denlinger, Aaron Clay – ‘Scottish Hypothetical Universalism: Robert Baron (c.1596-1639) on God’s Love and Christ’s Death For All’  in Reformed Orthodoxy in Scotland, ed. Aaron Clay Denlinger (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015)  See an extended excerpt at CalvinandCalvinism.

Crisp, Oliver – Ch. 7, ‘Hypothetical Universalism’  in Deviant Calvinism: Broadening Reformed Theology  (Augsburg Fortress, 2014), pp. 175-212

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Books

Moore, Jonathan – ‘Christ is Dead for Him’:  John Preston (1587-1628) and English Hypothetical Universalism  (Univ. of Cambrdige, 2000)  This was the dissertation that formed the basis for Moore’s published book.

Moore gives evidence that the phrase ‘Christ is dead for him’, which Preston used in the gospel call, meant, ‘Christ died for him’, relating to a universal aspect of Christ’s death.  The English phrase appears to come from the Latin, which might be translated either way.

The later Marrow Men in the Church of Scotland in the early-1700’s distinguished the meanings of the two phrases, using the first phrase in the sense that Christ is offered as crucified to you, the gospel-hearer, and yet most of them held to a limited atonement with respect to the latter phrase, which was reserved for those expressing saving faith.  It appears that the Marrow Men, in referencing Preston, did not realize that they were drawing on a phrase that originally bore a hypothetical universalist meaning.

Kang, Hyo Ju – The Extent of the Atonement in the Thought of John Davenant (1572-1641) in the Context of the Early Modern Era  a Masters thesis  (Univ. of Aberdeen, 2018)

Abstract:  “The contention of this thesis is that Davenant’s views of predestination, the atonement and free-will were the main factors that affected his twofold-intention view, and they differed from the positions of John Cameron…

Davenant’s position on the universal aspect of the atonement was based on the universal proclamation of the gospel.  Davenant stressed the immutability of God’s will for the elect.  Cameron’s view on the universal aspect of the atonement depended on the divine will for the salvation of every individual which could be frustrated due to human free choice.  Since the decree of sending Christ preceded the decree of of election according to Cameron’s view on the order of the divine decrees,

Cameron’s view was different from Davenant’s.  Cameron held to a distinction between moral and physical ability and intellectual persuasion of the Holy Spirit upon the human mind.  These things were not shared by Davenant…  Thus this study substantiates the claim that Davenant was not a forerunner of Amyrauldianism and his view was situated within the boundary of confessional orthodoxy codified in the Canons of Dort.”

Packer, J.I. – The Redemption and Restoration of Man in the Thought of Richard Baxter  (Regent College Publishing, 2001)  432 pp.


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Amyrauldian Writings

In English

1600’s

John Cameron

‘Certain Theses, or, Positions of the Learned John Cameron, Concerning the Threefold Covenant of God with Man’  as appended to Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedome…  (London, 1656)

“Every history of French Protestant theology in the seventeenth century should begin with a systematic study of his [Cameron’s] work.” – Francois Laplanche

The three covenants for Cameron are the Covenant of Nature (Works), Covenant of Grace and a mixed, Mosaic, Subservient Covenant.  Cameron does not explicitly teach hypothetical universalism in this early work, though the work laid a foundation for that later teaching. 

Cameron’s most distinctive element in this work (besides the subservient covenant, which was not wholly unprecedented) is in theses 3-5, which speak of primary, antecedent and conditional (or ‘hypothetical’, though Cameron does not use this word) covenants, which proceed from the antecedent love of God, and a secondary, absolute and consequent covenant of God which fulfills the former’s condition, bringing about the blessings offered in the former conditional promises. 

For background to, and an analysis of this work, see Richard Muller ‘Divine Covenants, Absolute and Conditional:  John Cameron and the Early Orthodox Development of Reformed Covenant Theology’ (2006)  Mid-America Journal of Theology 17 (2006): 11-56.

pp. 92-105 of Robert Wodrow, Collections upon the Lives of the Reformers… of the Church of Scotland, vol. 2  (Glasgow, 1834), Pt. 2, ‘Mr. John Cameron’

Wodrow surveys and translates substantial portions of Cameron’s letters in Latin (below) to Cappel from 1610-12, which first expressed his HU.  Gootjes says that there are some inaccuracies in the translation.

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2000’s

Clifford, Alan C. – Amyraut Affirmed or ‘Owenism, a Caricature of Calvinism.’  A Reply to Ian Hamilton’s ‘Amyrauldianism–is it modified Calvinism?’  (Norwich: Charenton Reformed Publishing, 2003)

Clifford has been the leading contemporary advocate of Amyrauldianism in the British Isles, and has held conferences promoting Amyrauldianism.

This work is one of others which “has tended…  to argue the significance of his [Amyraut’s] thought as a humanistic, Calvinian protest against a rigid, Bezan Scholastic orthodoxy…” – Muller, Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 197

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Latin

John Cameron

Letters, pp. 569-588  in Lectures in Some Select Places of the New Testament, held in Salmur, vol. 3  (Saumur, 1628)

Most of these letters from 1610-12 were written to Louis Cappel, and were the first explicit expression of Cameron’s HU.  The first letter, on the order of the decrees is a systematic overview of Cameron’s view and is undated.  The second letter ‘established the main import of Cameron’s universalism’ (Gootjes) and the following ones ‘address and clarify particular issues’. 

For an overview in English of these letters, see Gootjes in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, pp. 181-7.  Gootjes gives Cameron’s ‘outline’ of his four divine decrees as follows:

“1.  The first decree, then, is about restoring the divine image upon the creature, in a way wherein the justice of God remains intact.

2.  The second is about sending the Son who saves each and every one of those who believe in him, that is, who are his members.

3.  The third is about rendering men fit to believe.

4.  The fourth is about saving those who believe.”

Gootjes notes that, according to Cameron’s thought, the first two decrees are universal while the latter two are particular, while though the first three are absolute and the last is conditional.

On Heb. 2:9  in Responses to Questions in the Epistle to the Hebrews  in Lectures in Some Select Places of the New Testament, held in Salmur, vol. 3  (Saumur, 1628), pp. 196-7

This and the letters above appear to constitute all of the HU passages in Cameron.  They were only first published a few years after his death, which was in 1625.

“The death of Christ belongs, under the condition of faith, equally to all men.” – Opera, p. 389 on Heb. 2:9, as trans. Turretin, Institutes 2.457-8

Testard, Paul – A Peace Token [Eirenikon]: or a Synopsis of the Doctrine of Nature & Grace  (Blois, 1633)  ToC

Testard (1599-1650) was one of John Cameron’s closest disciples and was a French pastor.

Testard: “The design of giving Christ for a propitiation in his blood was the making of a new covenant with the whole human race and the possible call to salvation and the salvation of all men, justice no longer resisting…  In this sense, indeed, no one can deny that Christ died for each and everyone, that his faith may stand in the word of God.” – Eirenikon, theses 77, 79, pp. 54, 56, as trans. Turretin, Institutes 2.457-8

“Frans Pieter van Stam has convincingly argued that it was with Amyraut’s work, and not with Paul Testard’s earlier Eirenikon seu Synopsis dotrinae de natura et gratia…  which also propounded a Cameronian universalism, that the controversy broke out…” – Gootjes in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, pp. 188-9, fn. 66

“…Testard had presented the doctrine of hypothetical universalism as early as 1633, but he was seen as a less significant figure than Amyraut.  He was called with Amyraut to defend their teaching before the National Synod of Alencon in 1637.” – R. Jane McKee in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 294, fn. 271

Amyraut, Moses

A Specimen of Animadversions on Exercitations on Universal Grace [by Frederik Spanheim]  (Saumur, 1648)

Spanheim responded to this work (below) in 1649.

“In the preface to this treatise addressed to the ministers in France, Amyraut vented some of his hostilities toward his opponents, especially [Andrew] Rivet.  Already an old man at the time, Rivet was not amused and, in July 1648, he in turn reached for his pen and wrote an open letter to his brother, Guillaume Rivet, titled Epistola apologetica [1648], in which he defended himself against Amyraut’s accusations [Riveti Opera Theologica, 3:878-893].

Together with his brother-in-law, Pierre du Moulin, professor of theology at Sedan, and Spanheim, first professor at Geneva and thereafter at Leiden, he sharpened his theological knife in order to combat Amyraut.  For this purpose, he also used an abstract of Amyraut’s ideas, which he had composed in 1635 at The Hague.  It contained fifty theses and was followed by his comments on them, divided into ten chapters, and then a conclusion (Synopsis doctrinae de natura et gratia, excerpta ex Mosis Amyraldis  in Riveti Opera Theologica, 3:830-851).” – van Asselt in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 270

Six Theological Dissertations…  (Salmur, 1660)

‘A Defense of the Doctrine of Universal Grace, and that Explicated from the Orthodox’, pp. 119-236

Amyraut:  “The redemption of Christ is to be considered in two ways: either as absolute, inasmuch as some truly embrace it; again as it is affected by a condition, inasmuch as it is offered on these terms–that if anyone will embrace it, he shall become partaker of it.  In the former mode, it is particular; in the latter, universal.  In like manner, its destination is twofold: particular, inasmuch as it has a decree to give faith connected with it; universal, inasmuch as that decree is separated from it.” – Dissertationes Theologicae Quatuor (1645), pp. 37-8 as trans. Turretin, Institutes 2.458

‘A Defense of the Doctrine of Particular Grace, & so Explicated from Calvin’, pp. 237-310

Cappel, Louis – Pt. 1, Theses 32-34  of Theological Theses on Election & Reprobation  in Cappel, Amyraut & La Place, An Arrangement of the Theological Theses Disputed at Various Times in the Academy of Salmur, vol. 1  (2nd ed. Saumur, 1664-5), pt. 2, p. 107

Cappel (1570-1624) was first, apparently, exposed to HU, through Cameron’s letters to him in 1610-12 (above), which he had an initial reservation about.  In this piece Cappel gives an order of five decrees, which are similar to those of Cameron and La Place, but slightly different.

“Cappel, like Amyraut and La Place, thus explicitly addresses what had only been implicit in Cameron’s writings…  Cappel’s exposition, just like with La Place, leaves us with a more balanced and refined structure than found in Cameron’s De ordine decretorum Dei.” – Gootjes, in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, pp. 194-5  For an overview of this section of Cappel, see Gootjes, pp. 191-5.

“At Saumur la grace universelle became a part of the regular curriculum, as evidenced by theses Cappel had a student defend for the regular disputation cycle in which he openly posited it.  After studying there in the mid- to late 1640’s, [Claude] Pajon too left the academy a convicted universalist.” – Gootjes  in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 300

Josue de La Place – Theses 17 & 28-30  of A Defense of Judgement on the Order of the Decrees of God  (undated)  in All the Works...  vol. 1  (Franeker, 1699), pp. 489 & 492-3

La Place (c.1596-1655) was a French theologian who was born at Saumur. He became pastor at Nantes in 1625 and was a professor of theology at the Academy of Saumur from 1633 till his death.

“Whereas Cameron’s contact with Cappel stretched back to his time at Sedan, it was during his professorate at Saumur–alongside Cappel, who held the chair in Hebrew–that Cameron became acquainted with Amyraut (1596-1664) and Josue de La Place (cs. 1596-1655) who eagerly adopted his views as well.” – Gootjes in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 172

La Place gives an order of four decrees in this piece which are similar to, but slightly different from Cameron’s four decrees.  For a survey of this piece by La Place, see Gootjes in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, pp. 189-191.

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French

Amyraut, Moses – A Brief Tract on Predestination, and of its Principal Dependencies  (Saumur, 1634)  ToC  See also the 1654 edition with a treatment of Calvin and matter on grace and other questions of theology.

“The Protestant ‘Civil War’ was launched in 1634 with the publication of Amyraut’s Brief Traitte de la predestination et de ses principales dependences.  In this work, Amyraut revealed his distinctive doctrine of hypothetical redemption.  The battle lines were drawn.  Saumur and Paris were aligned against Geneva and most cities of the Netherlands.  For the next fifty years, the Reformed constituency was divided, with synods, books and formulae hurled into the fray.” – James T. Dennison, Jr., ‘The Life and Career of Francis Turretin’  in Turretin, Institutes, vol. 3, p. 643

“Amyraut’s universalism as he laid it out in his Brief traitte clearly followed the patter of Cameron’s.  While chapters six and seven unfold God’s decree to send Christ to all on the condition that they believe, chapter nine treats election or predestination by which God decreed to fulfill the condition of faith in particular people.  The intervening chapter eight functions as a bridge between these decrees, explaining that due to humanity’s corruption none will fulfill the condition of faith that is part of the universal decree regarding the sending of Christ on their own.  With this eighth chapter, Amyraut made explicit what was only implicit in Cameron’s works.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that Amyraut appears never actually to have expressed himself on the order of the decrees.  In fact, he at one time remarked that the Holy Spirit has not revealed any order in the Word, adding that one will only end up in a maze of difficulties if one tries to penetrate this mystery.” – Gootjes in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 189

“Since the misery of man is equal and universal, and the desire which God has to free them from it by so great a Redeemer proceeds from the mercy which he has towards us as his own creatures fallen into so great ruin, in which his creatures equally lie, the grace of redemption, which he has procured for and offers to us, should be equal and universal, provided we are equally disposed to receive it.” – Brief Traitte de la Predestination 7, p. 77, as trans. Turretin, Institutes 2.458


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Hypothetical Universalist Writings

English

Articles

Twisse, William

‘William Twisse (1578–1646) on [Martin] Bucer on Conditional Predestination’  excerpted from The Riches of God’s Love unto the Vessels of Mercy, consistent with his absolute hatred or reprobation of the Vessels of Wrath, (Oxford, 1653), 1:175-176

Twisse was a Westminster divine.

The webmaster David Ponter notes:  “While much of what Twisse says here is complex, one thing that is obvious is that the language of conditional predestination can be traced as far back as Bucer, and so is not original to Amyraut.  What is more, the conditional ‘decree’ [for Twisse] speaks to the revealed will, rather than the secret will…”

Compare this passage of Twisse with a similar passage in The Doctrine of the Synod of Dort…  (1631), pp. 170-171

The Doctrine of the Synod of Dort and Arles Reduced to the Practice…  (Amsterdam, 1631), 3rd Part, 1st Section, p. 165

“The truth is, we deny that Christ died for all, in as much as he died not to procure the grace of faith and regeneration for all, but only for Gods elect; and consequently neither shall any but God’s elect have any such interest in Christ’s death, as to obtain thereby pardon of sin and salvation, for Armi­nians themselves confess that this is the portion only of be­lievers.

But seeing pardon of sin and salvation are benefits merited by Christ, not to be conferred absolutely but con­ditionally, to wit, upon condition of faith; we may be bold to say that Christ in some sense died for all and every one, that is, he died to procure remission of sins and salvation unto all and every one in case they believe; and as this is true, so may we well say, and the Council of Dort might well say, that every one who hears the Gospel is bound to be­lieve that Christ died for him in this sense, namely, to obtain salvation for him in case he believe.

But what think Ar­minians; are we bound to believe that Christ died for us in such a sense, as to purchase faith and regeneration for us?”

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Books

1600’s

Davenant, John – A Dissertation on the Death of Christ, as to its Extent & Special Benefits, containing a Short History of Pelagianism, and showing the Agreement of the Doctrines of the Church of England on General Redemption, Election and Predestination with the Primitive Fathers of the Christian Church, and above all, with the Holy Scriptures  (d. 1641; 1650)  as appended to An Exposition of Colossians, vol. 2  ed. Josiah Allport  (London, 1832), pp. 310-569  ToC  Questions Treated

Polhill, Edward – Essay on the Extent of the Death of Christ  (d. 1694; Berwick, 1842)  55 pp.  This is an excerpt from The Divine Will Considered in Its Eternal Decrees and Holy Execution of Them  (London, 1673)  This was reprinted, per the Preface, in the context of the new light, double-reference theory of the atonement in the Scottish Secession Churches.

Baxter, Richard – Universal Redemption of Mankind, by the Lord Jesus Christ, Stated and Cleared…  whereunto is added a short account of Special Redemption by the same author  (London, 1694)

See J.I. Packer, The Redemption and Restoration of Man in the Thought of Richard Baxter (Regent College Publishing, 2001) for a survey and particularist critique of this work.

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2000’s

Shultz, Gary Lee – A Biblical and Theological Defense of a Multi-Intentioned View of the Extent of the Atonement  PhD diss.  (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2008)

This dissertation argues not only for a multi-intentioned view of the atonement (which may be consistent with Limited Atonement,ª per Turretin), but argues for a general atonement (Christ undertaking as a legal substitute for all), with a ‘particular intention in the atonement: securing the salvation of the elect.’

ª Note that the national French synod of Alancon (below) did not have an issue with a multi-intentionality, but only that Amyraut & Testard used the language of Christ dying ‘equally’ for all.  Note also that limited atonement advocates such as Du Moulin, Kimedoncius, Byfield et al., who were against a general atonement, did not shy away from affirming that Christ died to make a sufficient atonement for all.

The dissertation provides some historical material about ‘Augustine, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, Jacob Arminius, Moïse Amyraut, Richard Baxter, John Owen, and John Wesley, as well as the views of the ninth century, medieval scholasticism, and modern evangelicalism’ in ch. 2.  See the abstract for an overview of the whole work.

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Websites

Calvin & Calvinism  by David Ponter

The webmasters of these two websites hold to forms of Hypothetical Universalism.  These two sites are probably the largest repository for H.U. writings on the net (with meticulous documentation), though many of the theologians quoted on their sites simply held to Limited Atonement, the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel and Common Grace.  Many of the sources quoted cannot otherwise be found online.

Theological Meditations  by Tony Byrne

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Latin

Daille, Jean – A Defense of the [French] Synods of Alancon [1637] & Charenton [1645], vol. 2, in which the Universal Grace of God, which Frederic Spanheim opposes in his Exercitations, is defended by the authority of 120 Older Theologians & 63 More Recent Theologians  (Amsterdam, 1655)  We are not able to find vol. 1 on the net.

The synods of Alancon and Charenton cleared Amyraut and Testard (see below), though controversy continued.

Maresius responded to this work of Daille, below.  Daille responded to that with some Vindications.  Maresius then responded with some Brief Strictures, below.


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Hypothetical Universalism & the Synod of Dort

That the Canons Prohibit Hypothetical Universalism

1600’s

Leiden Professors: Polyander, Wallaeus, Thysius, Trigland – ch. 29, ‘The Testimonials of Diverse Doctors and Universities, unto the Treatise of Monsieur Rivet, Against the Books of the Sieurs Amyraud and Testard’  in John Quick, Synodicon, vol. 2, The Synod of Alancon (1637), pp. 405-7.  Including testimonials by the 4 Leiden professors, Bogerman, Sertaunus, Majomus and Henry Alting.

The Leiden professors, in agreeing with Andre Rivet, imply that Amyraut’s writings were not allowable within the scope of the Canons of Dort:

“To…  Andrew Rivet…  your remarks on the writings of Monsieur Amyraud…  we have found them exactly agreeing, both with the Holy Scripture in all articles of faith, and those wherein our national Synod of Dort had declared its judgment…”

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1800’s

George Smeaton

The Apostles’ Doctrine of the Atonement, p. 540

“[Amyraldianism is] a revolt from the position maintained at the Synod of Dordt, under the guise of an explanation.”

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That the Canons Allow for Hypothetical Universalism

1600’s

The English Delegation to Dort

Primary Source

‘The Collegiate Suffrage of the Divines of Great Britain, Concerning the Five Articles Controverted At the Synod of Dort’  from George Carleton, [et al.], The Collegiat Suffrage of the Divines of Great Britaine, Concerning the Five Articles Controverted in the Low Countries…  (London: 1629), ‘The Suffrage Concerning the Second Article’, pp. 43–64

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Secondary Sources

Articles

Dewar, M.W.

‘The British Delegation at the Synod of Dort–1618-1619’  The Evangelical Quarterly 45.2 (April-June 1974), pp. 103-116

‘The British Delegation at the Synod of Dort:
Assembling and Assembled; Returning and Returned’  Churchman 106/2 (1992)  16 pp.

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Book

ed. Milton, Anthony – The British Delegation and the Synod of Dort  (1618-1619)  Pre  (Boydell Press / Church of England Record Society, 2005)

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Twisse, William

The Doctrine of the Synod of Dort and Arles Reduced to the Practice…  (Amsterdam, 1631), 3rd Part, 1st Section, p. 165

“The truth is, we deny that Christ died for all, in as much as he died not to procure the grace of faith and regeneration for all, but only for Gods elect; and consequently neither shall any but God’s elect have any such interest in Christ’s death, as to obtain thereby pardon of sin and salvation, for Armi­nians themselves confess that this is the portion only of be­lievers.

But seeing pardon of sin and salvation are benefits merited by Christ, not to be conferred absolutely but con­ditionally, to wit, upon condition of faith; we may be bold to say that Christ in some sense died for all and every one, that is, he died to procure remission of sins and salvation unto all and every one in case they believe; and as this is true, so may we well say, and the Council of Dort might well say, that every one who hears the Gospel is bound to be­lieve that Christ died for him in this sense, namely, to obtain salvation for him in case he believe.

But what think Ar­minians; are we bound to believe that Christ died for us in such a sense, as to purchase faith and regeneration for us?”

Baxter, Richard – ‘On the Synod of Dort & the Death of Christ’  from Richard Baxter’s Confession of Faith (London: 1665), pp. 25-26

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1900’s

Strehle, Stephen – ‘The Extent of the Atonement and the Synod of Dort’  Ref  Westminster Theological Journal 51.1 (Spring 1989): pp. 1-23

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2000’s

Moore, Jonathan – ‘On Hypothetical Universalism & the Synod of Dort’  from ‘The Extent of the Atonement: English Hypothetical Universalism versus Particular Redemption’ in Drawn into Controversie, ed. Michael A.G. Haykin & Mark Johns (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011), pp. 144-148

Grohman, Donald Davis – ‘On Dort & the 1649 Genevan Articles’  from The Genevan Reactions to the Saumur Doctrines of Hypothetical Universalism: 1635-1685  Th.D. diss.  (Knox College in cooperation with Toronto School of Theology, 1971), pp. 231-5, 254-6, 280

Godfrey, Robert – ‘The Path to Compromise at Dort’  from Tensions within International Calvinism: The Debate on the Atonement at the Synod of Dort, 1618-1619  (Ph.D diss., Stanford University, 1974), pp. 252-264, 266, 268

Fesko, J.V. – ‘On Hypothetical Universalism and the Westminster Confession and Synod of Dort’  being pp. 189-203  of The Theology of the Westminster Standards (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014)

Crisp, Oliver – ‘On Hypothetical Universalism and the Synod of Dort’  Deviant Calvinism: Broadening Reformed Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014), pp. 178-181


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The French Reformed Synods

Below are the three times the Amyrauldian controversy prominently came to the fore before national synods.  The first, the Synod of Alancon, is the most important and substantial.

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The Synod of Alancon, 1637

in John Quick, Synodicon, vol. 2, pp. 352-357

Ch. 15, Articles 12-30

This section makes clear that Testard and Amyraut believed that they were with the bounds of the Canons of Dort.  Article 18 says:

“…explaining their opinions about the universality of Christ’s death, they declared, that Jesus Christ died for all men sufficiently, but for the elect only effectually: and that consequently his intention was to die for all men in respect of its quickening and saving virtue and efficacy…

Whereupon, although the assembly were well satisfied, yet nevertheless they decreed, that for the future, that phrase of Jesus Christ’s dying ‘equally’ for all, should be foreborn, because that term ‘equally’ was formerly, and might be so again, an occasion of stumbling unto many.”

It is noteworthy that the Canons of Dort affirm the first paragraph above, and so did Pierre Du Moulin in his Examination of Arminianism, who was a strong opponent of the Amyrauldians.

Articles 19-22 have been transcribed here.  Article 19 says that they used the term ‘conditional decree’ simply as an anthropopathism with respect to God’s revealed will in regard to the conditional gospel offer.  Article 20 says that they only used the ‘name of universal or conditional predestination’ by way of concession to their opponents, and that ‘there is none other decree of predestination of men unto eternal life and salvation, than the unchangeable purpose of God’.

Article 21 says that they denied any ordering of God’s decrees, except for ‘accommodating it unto that manner and order, which the spirit of man observes in his reasonings for the succor of his own infirmity’.  Article 22 says that the synod:

‘…enjoined them and all others to refrain from those terms of conditional, frustratory, or revocable decree; and that they should rather choose the word ‘will’, whereby to express that sentiment of theirs, and by which they would signify the revealed Will of God, commonly called by the divines Voluntas Signe.’

Article 23 says that, whereby they:

‘ascribed unto God, as it were, a notion of velleity, and strong affections, and vehement desires of things which he has not, nor ever will effectuate; they having declared that by those figurative ways of speaking, and anthropopathical, they designed, to speak properly, none other thing than this, that if men were obedient to the commandments and invitations of God, their faith and obedience would be most acceptable unto Him…’

Articles 24-29 clear Amyraut and Testard in matters relating to the call and invitation of God through general revelation, man’s impotency and conversion.  The synod at times exhorts them to use more careful language in order to prevent the scandal of the weak.  Article 30 says:

‘…Testard and Amyraud, having acquiesced in all [the synod’s exhortations], as above declared, and having sworn and subscribed to it, the Assembly gave them the right hand of fellowship by the hand of their moderator, and they were honorably dismissed to the exercise of their respective charges.’

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The Third Synod of Charenton  1645

in John Quick, Synodicon, vol. 2, p. 455

Ch. 10, sections 6-7

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The Synod of Loudon  1659

in John Quick, Synodicon, vol. 2, p. 545

Ch. 9, section 21, p. 545

This section speaks to the controversy and libels aroused by Amyraut’s published writings, and clears Amyraut.

Ch. 10, section 24, pp. 554-61

This section speaks of ‘sundry provinces’ complaining that Amyraut and Daille broke the exhortations and restrictions made at the synods of Alancon (1637) and Charenton (1645).  The synod of Loudon heard their defense, were satisfied with it, and cleared them, and then provided extracts from those two previous synods, upholding them.


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At Westminster

That the Westminster Standards Prohibit Hypothetical Universalism

Besides the passages from the Westminster Confession that Murray references below, see also Larger Catechism, #59 & 66-68.

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John Murray

Collected Writings of John Murray (Edinburgh: Banner, 1982), vol. 4, pp. 255-256

“It has been maintained that the [Westminster] Assembly formulated at least one section so as to allow for an Amyraldian doctrine of the atonement.  The Minutes of the Assembly give no support to this contention.  There are three principles enunciated in the [WestminsterConfession that exclude the Amyraldian view.

The first is that redemption has been purchased for the elect.  ‘The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience, and sacrifice of Himself…  purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto him’ (8:5).

The second is that impetration and application are coextensive.  ‘To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same’ (8:8).  This excludes any form of universal atonement.  The redemption purchased includes, as the preceding quotation implies, the purchase of an everlasting inheritance, and this is therefore said to be communicated to all for whom redemption was purchased.  If all were included then all would be the partakers of the everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, a position clearly denied in the Confession elsewhere.

The third principle is the exclusiveness of redemption. ‘Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only’ (3:4).  In the preceding sentence the elect are said to have been ‘redeemed by Christ’; now it is said that they alone are redeemed.

Other lines of argument could be elicited from the Confession to show that it allowed for no form of universal atonement, not even the hypothetical universalism propounded on the floor of the Assembly.  But the foregoing principles are sufficient to show that the particularism in terms of which the whole doctrine of salvation is constructed is not sacrificed at the point of the atonement.”

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That the Westminster Standards Allow Hypothetical Universalism

1600’s

On William Twisse’s H.U., see above under Dort.

Baxter, Richard – ‘The Westminster Confession was not Written to Preclude Universal Redemption: By Way of Personal Testimony’  from Certain Disputations of Right to Sacraments and the true nature of Visible Christianity (London: 1657), Preface, vi-xvi; pages numbered manually

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1800’s

Mitchell, Alexander & J.P. Struthers – ‘On Hypothetical Universalism and the Westminster Confession’  from Minutes of the Sessions of the Westminster Assembly of Divines (London: William Blackwood & Sons, 1874), liii-lxi

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2000’s

Moore, Jonathan – ‘On Hypothetical Universalism and the Westminster Confession of Faith’  from ‘The Extent of the Atonement: English Hypothetical Universalism versus Particular Redemption’  in Drawn into Controversie, ed. Michael A.G. Haykin & Mark Jones (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011), pp. 148-152, 154-155

Van Dixhoorn, Chad – pp. 106-107 of ‘Unity and Disunity at the Westminster Assembly (1643—1649): A Commemorative Essay’  The Journal of Presbyterian History (1997-), vol. 79, No. 2 (Summer 2001), pp. 103-117

Fesko, J.V. – ‘On Hypothetical Universalism and the Westminster Confession and Synod of Dort’  being pp. 189-203  of The Theology of the Westminster Standards (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014)

Crisp, Oliver – ‘On Hypothetical Universalism and the Westminster Confession’  from Deviant Calvinism: Broadening Reformed Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014), pp. 181-183


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Contra Amyrauldianism & H.U.:  Articles & Books

For the most part only works treating of H.U. specifically are included below.  See our Limited Atonement page for further works against a general atonement.

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English

1600’s

Leiden Professors: Polyander, Wallaeus, Thysius, Trigland – ch. 29, ‘The Testimonials of Diverse Doctors and Universities, unto the Treatise of Monsieur Rivet, Against the Books of the Sieurs Amyraud and Testard’  in John Quick, Synodicon, vol. 2, The Synod of Alancon (1637), pp. 405-7.  Including testimonials by the 4 Leiden professors, Bogerman, Sertaunus, Majomus and Henry Alting.

The Leiden professors, in agreeing with Andre Rivet, imply that Amyraut’s writings were not allowable within the scope of the Canons of Dort:

“To…  Andrew Rivet…  your remarks on the writings of Monsieur Amyraud…  we have found them exactly agreeing, both with the Holy Scripture in all articles of faith, and those wherein our national Synod of Dort had declared its judgment…”

The Swiss Reformed Churches – Canons 6, 13-17, 19  of The Formula Consensus Helvetica [The Swiss Form of Consensus]  1675  trans. Martin I. Klauber, Trinity Journal 11 (1990): pp. 103-23  In Latin

See Wikipedia for background.

Brown, John – ‘Arguments Against Universal Redemption’  appended to The Life of Justification Opened…  ([no place] 1695), p. 526-563

Turretin, Francis – Institutes of Elenctic Theology

vol. 1

4th Topic, ‘The Decrees of God…’, 17th Question, ‘Can there be attributed to God any conditional will, or universal purpose of pitying the whole human race fallen in sin, of destinating Christ as Mediator to each and all, and of calling them all to a saving participation of his benefits?  We deny.’, pp. 395-417

vol. 2

12th Topic, ‘The Covenant of Grace…’, 6th Question, ‘The Extent of the Covenant of Grace:  Was the covenant of grace ever universal, either as to presentation or acceptance?  We deny.’, pp. 205-216

14th Topic, ‘The Mediatorial Office of Christ’, 14th Question, ‘The Object of the Satisfaction.  Did Christ die for each and every man universally or only for the elect?  The former we deny; the latter we affirm.’, pp. 455-482.

See especially sections 6-8, pp. 457-8 for Turretin’s sketch defining Amyrauldianism.  The whole section interacts with Amyrauldianism and not just Arminianism.

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1800’s

MacGregor, James – ‘Amyraldism’  (1868)  in The Master’s Trumpet, Issue 3 (2006), pp. 17-36  being The Question of Principle Now Raised in the Free Church Specially Regarding the Atonement  (Edinburgh 1870)

MacGregor was a minister and professor of systematic theology in the Free Church of Scotland.

“James MacGregor (1830-1894), resting on the foundations laid by his mentor William Cunningham, presses the inadequacy of Amyraldianism both as theology and as a method of gospel presentation.  In the course of doing this, he unravels the subtleties involved in Amyraldianism, gives a sharp definition of the position, comments on its reemergence in Scotland, and defends the orthodoxy of the earlier Secession tradition in its attachment to the Marrow theology.

He notes that Amyraldianism loses its appeal when it is seen that the difficulties it seeks to resolve have been successfully addressed by various commonplaces of old school Calvinism, such as God’s sincere invitation to all men to believe and be saved.  MacGregor holds forth the same doctrine as M’Cheyne, though with different terminology, speaking of a divine complacency in the sense of a delight in man’s holiness and happiness so that God sincerely mourns over the misery of the unbelieving impenitent as lost.  MacGregor speaks of this complacency (using the word in the sense found in Turretin, Institutes, III.15.8 & 11) as inherent in God’s nature, and presenting to all unconverted men alike the same motive and encouragement to faith.

In 1868, MacGregor succeeded James Buchanan in the chair of systematic theology at New College, Edinburgh, and soon took up his pen in opposition to a theologically uncircumspect Union movement.” – From the Editors

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2000’s

Hamilton, Ian – Amyraldianism—Is it Modified Calvinism?  (Great Britain: EPCEW, 2003)

“Hypothetical universalism reduces the propitiation of the Son of God to a potentiality.  The cross actually achieves nothing, it only makes sinners potentially salvable.  Definite atonement, or better simply ‘atonement,’ truly glories in the ‘finished work’ of Christ.” – p. 20

Hamilton was responded to by Alan C. Clifford above.

Stewart, Angus – ‘Amyraldianism and the Formula Consensus Helvetica (1675)’

Stewart is a Protestant Reformed minister in Northern Ireland.  This is a lengthy and substantial article with many quotes and some historical material, which is aggressively anti-Amyrauldian.

McGeown, Martyn J. – ‘A Critical Examination of the Amyraldian View of the Atonement’

McGeown writes in the context of the Protestant Reformed Church.

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Latin

1600’s

Trigland, Jacob – Meditations on Various Opinions on the Will of God & Universal Grace, where yet is something on Middle-Knowledge  (Leiden, 1642)  ToC

Trigland was one of the professors of theology at Leiden and an author of the Synopsis of Pure Theology.

Spanheim, Frederic

Exercitations on Universal Grace…, vol. 1, 2, 3  (Leiden, 1646)  ToC

Spanheim (1600-1649)

Amyraut responded to this work (above) with his A Specimen of Animadversions.  Jean Daille also responded to this work of Spanheim (above).

Two Parts, Posthumous, of Vindications for his Exercitations on Universal Grace Against the Specimen of Animadversions of Moses Amyrauld [1648], with a Preface by Andrew Rivet…  (Amsterdam, 1649)

The work of Amyraut, which this work responds to, is above.  Spanheim died in 1649.

Miscellaneous Theological Disputations, vol. 1  (Geneva, 1652)

32. ‘Of Predestination, the Extent & Efficacy of the Death of Christ, of the Cause of our Conversion to God and its mode, and of the Perseverance of the Saints’, pp. 208-229

33. ‘Of Universal Grace’, pp. 230-7

Rivet, Andrew & William – Apologetic Epistles to the Accusations & Calumnies of Moses Amyraut, in the Virulent Preface to the Reverend Pastors of the Reformed Churches of France Prefixed to the [his] Animadversions on Universal Grace  (Breda, 1648)

“In the preface to this treatise addressed to the ministers in France, Amyraut vented some of his hostilities toward his opponents, especially [Andrew] Rivet.  Already an old man at the time, Rivet was not amused and, in July 1648, he in turn reached for his pen and wrote an open letter to his brother, Guillaume Rivet, titled Epistola Apologetica [1648], in which he defended himself against Amyraut’s accusations [Riveti Opera Theologica, 3:878-893].” – van Asselt in Theology of the French Reformed Churches (RHB, 2014), p. 270

Rivet, Andrew – A Synopsis of the Doctrine of Nature & Grace, excerpted out of the Tract on Predestination [1634] and Six Edited French Sermons of Moses Amyrauld, Professor of Sacred Theology at Salmur, and the published, Latin, Eirenikon [A Peace Token] of Paul Testard, Pastor of Blois, with…  (Amsterdam, 1649)

Testard’s Eirenikon is above.

“Together with his brother-in-law, Pierre du Moulin, professor of theology at Sedan, and Spanheim, first professor at Geneva and thereafter at Leiden, he [Rivet] sharpened his theological knife in order to combat Amyraut.  For this purpose, he also used an abstract of Amyraut’s ideas, which he had composed in 1635 at The Hague.  It contained fifty theses and was followed by his comments on them, divided into ten chapters, and then a conclusion (Synopsis doctrinae de natura et gratia, excerpta ex Mosis Amyraldis  in Riveti Opera Theologica, 3:830-851).” – van Asselt in Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 270

Maresius, Samuel – A Theological Judgment on the Questions of Grace & Universal Redemption…  containing 10 Exercitations, Against the Apology of John Daille, edited in Belgium, contra the Common & Constant View of the Reformed Churches & Schools of the Belgic Federation, and All Others, to which is appended Brief Strictures to the Recent Vindications of the Same Daille, which are most wordy & contumacious…  (Groningen, 1658)  913 pp.  ToC

Daille’s Apology is above.

Grebenitz, Elias – A Theological Tract on the Denial of Universal, Divine Grace  (Frankfurt, 1665)  87 pp.

Grebenitz (1627-1689) was a reformed professor of logic, metaphysics and theology at Frankfurt, Germany.

Burman, Francis – 17. ‘Of the Subject of the Covenant of Grace.  Where is Treated of its Latitude & of Universal Grace’, pp. 499-506  in A Synopsis of Theology, and especially of the Economy of the Covenant of God, from the beginning of ages to the consummation of all things, vol. 1  (Utrecht, 1671)

Burman (1628-79)

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1700’s

Vitringa, Sr., Campegius – Ch. 19, ‘Of the Covenant of Grace, which has an Eternal Superstructure & Various Dispensations of it’, ‘Of the Extent of the Covenant of Grace’, pp. 247-249  in The Doctrine of the Christian Religion, Summarily Described through Aphorisms, vol. 4  (d. 1722)

Vitringa, Sr. (1659-1722) was a professor in Franeker and a Hebraist.  “…Vitringa…  maintained a fairly centrist Reformed position…  Vitringa and De Moor serve as codifiers and bibliographers of the earlier tradition, the former from a federalist, the latter from a nonfederalist perspective.”

Hottinger, Johann Jacob – A Theological Disquisition on Evangelical Consolation in Trials:  Wherein is Drawn out Whether Grace is More Complete & Unimpaired being Universal or Particular?  (Esslingae, 1723)

Hottinger (1652-1735) was a professor of theology at Zurich and was the son of Johann Heinrich Hottinger (d. 1667).

van den Honert, Jan – Dissertations on the Grace of God, not Universal, but Particular, and even on the Essence & Existence of God  (Leiden, 1725)  671 pp.  Subject Index

Honert (1693-1758) was a professor of theology at Utrecht and Leiden.

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French

Du Moulin, Pierre – A Clarification on the Controversies of Salmur, or a Defense of the Doctrine of the Reformed Churches on the Immutability of the Decrees of God, the Efficacy of the Death of Christ, the Universal Grace, the inability to Convert Oneself and on other matters  (Leiden, 1648)  ToC  with a preface by Frederic Spanheim and a letter to the same by Andrew Rivet.


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Quotes Against Amyrauldianism & H.U.

Most of the quotes below were gratefully gleaned from Angus Stewart, ‘Amyraldianism and the Formula Consensus Helvetica (1675)’.

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1600’s

Melchior Leydecker

De Veritate Religionis Reformatae et Evangelicalae (1688), lib. ii., cap. 6, sect. 82; quoted in George Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Great Britain: Banner, rep. 1958), pp. 363-364

“The learned Amyraldus did not service to the cause of the Reformation by his distinction between A PHYSICAL AND MORAL POWER OF BELIEVING IN CHRIST.  He supposed the sinner to have the former, but not the latter.

He held that Christ died for all men according to a decree of God, by which salvation was secured to sinners on condition of faith; which general decree, according to him, was to be considered as going before the particular decree about giving faith to the elect.  When it was mentioned to him that his notion of the general decree now mentioned was absurd, as it suspended the end of Christ’s death on an impossible condition, he denied that the condition was impossible.  ‘For,’ said he,

‘though I do not, with the Arminians, deny the impotence of fallen man, or his inability to believe (I allow him to be morally impotent), yet I hold that man has still a physical or natural power of believing, as he possesses the natural faculties of the understanding and the will.’

Herein Amyraldus has given a sad example of the abuse of great parts.  Shall we suppose that when Christ undertook for sinners in the covenant of grace, He considered them any otherwise than as most miserable, lost, dead in sin, utterly impotent (Rom. 5:78:3); or that the wisdom of God gave Christ to die for this end, that sinners might attain salvation by a natural power of believing—a power which Amyraldus confesses could never be exerted?

Further, is not faith a most holy and moral act, and, as it takes place in the sinner, [a] purely supernatural act?  And shall we allow that a principle which is not moral, but merely physical, can be productive of such a moral and supernatural act?  Ought not an act and its principle to correspond with one another?  Let the same thing be said of love which Amyraldus has said of faith, and the Pelagians will triumph who used to speak so much about a natural faculty of loving God above all things.

Indeed, upon this scheme there will be no keeping out of the Pelagian opinion about the powers of pure nature, and about physical or natural faculties in man of doing what is morally good.  For, in confuting that opinion, our divines still maintained that the image of God was requisite in the first man, in order to his exerting such morally good acts as those of loving and seeking true blessedness in the enjoyment of Him.

But Amyraldus overthrows this doctrine, while he is led, by the distinction he makes between natural and moral power, to hold that the conception of man’s rational nature necessarily includes in it a power of exerting acts morally good, such as those of desiring and endeavouring to obtain the restoration of communion with the infinitely holy and blessed God.

The tendency of this scheme became more manifest when Pajonius—a disciple of Amyraldus—began to deny the necessity of the Spirit’s work in the internal illumination of sinners, in order to their saving conversion.  For, said Pajonius, nothing more is necessary to that end than that the understanding which has in itself a sufficiency of clear ideas (according to the language of the Cartesian philosophy then in vogue) should only be struck by the light of external revelation, as the eye is struck by the rays of light coming form a luminous object”

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John Owen

Works (Great Britain: Banner, rep. 1967),

vol. 10, p. 235; the italics are Owen’s.

“Christ did not die for any upon condition, if they do believe; but he died for all God’s elect, that they should believe, and believing have eternal life…”

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vol. 12, pp. 48-49

“Amyraldus (whom I look upon as one of the greatest wits of these days) will at present go a middle way between the [Reformed] churches of France and the Arminians.  What hath been the issue?  Among the churches, divisions, tumult, disorder; among the professors and ministers, revilings, evil surmisings; to the whole body of the people, scandals and offences; and in respect of himself, evidence of daily approaching nearer to the Arminian party, until, as one of them saith of him, he is not far from their kingdom of heaven.”

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1700’s

Wilhelmus a Brakel

The Christian’s Reasonable Service, trans. Bartel Elshout (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, rep. 1992), vol. 1

pp. 222-223

“Amyraut, and all who follow him, maintain to have found a middle position whereby the offense of the true doctrine can be removed…”

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pp. 598-599

“…we must do battle against Roman Catholics, Arminians, and Amyraldians…”

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1800’s

George Smeaton

The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, p. 361, 363

“By those who were competent to take the measure of Amyraldianism—such as Rivetus, Maresius, and Spanheim—it was regarded as a subtle form of Arminianism.”

“Spanheim, [Pierre] Jurieu, [Jacques] Saurin, and others regarded [Amyraldianism] as an Arminian leaven [Gal. 5:9] which had destroyed the French Protestant Church.”

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The Apostles’ Doctrine of the Atonement  (Great Britain: Banner, repr. 1991), p. 540-541

“[Amyraldianism is] a revolt from the position maintained at the Synod of Dordt, under the guise of an explanation…

When we examine the [Amyraldian] theory minutely, it will not hang together. Its advocates speak of a Universal Decree, in which God was supposed to have given Christ as a Mediator for the whole human race; and of a Special Decree, in which God, foreseeing that no one would believe in his unaided strength, was supposed to have elected some to receive the gift of faith. Unquestionably it differs form the Arminian positions in this respect, that the faith was not referred to man’s free will, but was supposed to be derived form God’s free grace.

The theory acknowledged the sovereign election of God, according to His good pleasure. But it laboured under the defect of supposing a double and a conflicting decree; that is, a general decree, in which he was said to will the salvation of all, and a special decree, in which He was said to will the salvation of the elect. To Christ also it ascribed a twofold and discordant aim, viz. to satisfy for all men, and to satisfy merely for the elect. As a reconciling system, and an incoherent one, it aimed to harmonize the passages of Scripture, which at one time seem to extend Christ’s merits to the world, and at another to limit them to the church; not to mention that God is supposed to be disappointed in His purpose”

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Charles Hodge

Systematic Theology, vol. 2, p. 322

“[Amyraldianism] was designed to take a middle ground between Augustinianism and Arminianism.”

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A. A. Hodge

The Atonement  (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans,1953), pp. 374-375

“Their own system was generally styled Universalismus Hypotheticus, an hypothetic or conditional universalism.  They taught that there were two wills or purposes in God in respect to man’s salvation.  The one will is a purpose to provide, at the cost of the sacrifice of his own Son, salvation for each and every human being without exception if they believe—a condition foreknown to be universally and certainly impossible.  The other will is an absolute purpose, depending only upon his own sovereign good pleasure, to secure the certain salvation of a definite number…

This view represents God as loving the non-elect sufficiently to give them his Son to die for them, but not loving them enough to give them faith and repentance…  It represents God as willing at the same time that all men be saved and that only the elect be saved.  It denies, in opposition to the Arminian, that any of God’s decrees are conditioned upon the self-determined will of the creature, and yet puts into the mouths of confessed Calvinists the very catch-words of the Arminian system, such as universal grace, the conditional will of God, universal redemption, etc.  The language of Amyraldus, the ‘Marrow Men,’ Baxter, Wardlaw, Richards, and Brown is now used to cover much more serious departures from the truth.

All really consistent Calvinists ought to have learned by now that the original position of the great writers and confessions of the Reformed Churches have only been confused, and neither improved, strengthened nor illustrated, by all the talk with which the Church has…  been distracted as to the ‘double will’ of God, or the ‘double reference’ of the Atonement.  If men will be consistent in their adherence to these ‘Novelties,’ they must become Arminians.  If they would hold consistently to the essential principles of Calvinism, they must discard the ‘Novelties’.”

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R. L. Dabney

Systematic Theology (Great Britain: Banner, rep. 1985), pp. 235-236

“If the idea of a real succession in time between the parts of the divine decree be relinquished, as it must be; then this scheme is perfectly illusory, in representing God as decreeing to send Christ to provide a redemption to be offered to all, on condition of faith, and this out of His general compassion.  For if He foresees the certain rejection of all at the time, and at the same time purposes sovereignly to withhold the grace which would work faith in the soul, from some, this scheme of election really makes Christ to be related, in God’s purpose, to the non-elect, no more closely nor beneficially than the stricter Calvinistic scheme.

But second and chiefly, it represents Christ as not purchasing for His people the grace of effectual calling, by which they are persuaded and enabled to embrace redemption. But God’s purpose to confer this is represented as disconnected with Christ and His purchase, and subsequent, in order, to His work, and the foresight of its rejection by sinners. Whereas Scripture represents that this gift, along with all other graces of redemption, is given us in Christ, having been purchased for His people by Him (Eph. 1:3Phil. 1:29Heb. 12:2)”

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1900’s

John Macleod

Scottish Theology, pp. 61-62

“John Cameron [the teacher of Amyraut] set the tendency in motion which in different lands has tried to mediate between the consistent scheme of the Reformed Faith and the Arminianism which was set aside by the findings of the Synod of Dordt…  The issues of his mongrel compromising teaching were far reaching.  The church of his adoption felt the effects of his teaching to such an extent as that the Theology of the later Huguenots was to a large extent revolutionised.

Their influence in turn told on Richard Baxter and on all the varieties of teaching that can be traced back to his type of doctrine.  It affected the thinking of New England; and as a return tide on its way back over the Atlantic it determined the teaching of the English Edwardians, both Independent and Baptist.  The force of the current that was thus changing the older Calvinism beat at last on the Reformed teaching of Scotland in circles other than those of the Neonomians.

It found more channels than one in which to flow.  New England Revivalism did its share of the work; and the influence of modern Calvinism in English Nonconformity also contributed its quota.  Along with the disintegrating work of the New Light movement, which was of home [i.e., Scottish] growth and which spoke of an uneasy spirit of dissatisfaction with long accepted truth and of a restlessness that was in quest of something new, the various streams of influence that derived remotely from Cameron are responsible for the collapse of the Confessional orthodoxy which had for ages found a home in his native country.”

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B. B. Warfield

The Plan of Salvation  (USA: Simpson Publishing Company, rep. 1989), pp. 96-97

“[Amyrauldianism] is not…  an acceptable form of Calvinism, or even a tenable form of Calvinism.  For one thing, it is a logically inconsistent form of Calvinism and therefore an unstable form of Calvinism…

…it is impossible to contend that God intends the gift of his Son for all men alike and equally and at the same time intends that it shall not actually save all but only a select body which He Himself provides for it.  The schematization of the order of decrees presented by the Amyraldians, in a word, necessarily implies a chronological relation of precedence and subsequence among the decrees, the assumption of which abolishes God, and this can be escaped only by altering the nature of the atonement. And therefore the nature of the atonement is altered by them, and Christianity is wounded at its very heart…  A conditional substitution being an absurdity, because the condition is no condition to God, if you grant him even so much as the poor attribute of foreknowledge, they necessarily turn away from a substitutive atonement altogether…”

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Jonathan Rainbow

The Will of God and the Cross  (Allison Park, PA: Pickwick Publications, 1990), p. 62

“In fact it seems much more accurate to say that Amyraut was the real Reformed “scholastic,” and “Reformed Thomas Aquinas,” the balancer, the synthesizer, the creator of new categories, and structures. And Reformed orthodoxy, with its insistence on limited redemption, was actually a primitive throwback to the rigorous and markedly non-rationalistic particularism of Augustine and Gottschalk. Under whatever label, John Calvin, as a limited redemptionist, belongs historically with Augustine, Gottschalk, Bucer, Beza and Reformed orthodoxy–not with Amyraut.”

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Robert L. Reymond

A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1998), p. 478; The italics are Reymond’s.

“When [Amyraldianism] urges that the Bible teaches that both by divine decree and in history Christ’s death, represented by it as unrestricted regarding its referents, was intended to save all men without exception (the doctrine of universal atonement), Amyraldianism must necessarily join forces with Arminian universalism which…  shares this aspect of its vision and turn away altogether from a real substitutionary atonement…”

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2000’s

Roger Nicole

Standing Forth: Collected Writings of Roger Nicole  (Mentor, 2018), p. 326

“The doctrine of hypothetical universalism acted as a corrosive factor in the French Reformed Church.  Tolerated at first because it was felt that an outright condemnation would lead to schism, it slowly undermined respect for the confessional standards and disrupted internal unity and cohesion…  it did provide a bridge toward Arminianism and perhaps toward the Semi-Pelagian tendencies of the Church of Rome.  The advantages that Amyraut had envisioned failed to materialize, and the dangers against which his opponents had warned did in fact eventuate.”

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Related Pages

Limited Atonement