Brief Survey on the Controversy on Universal Grace (1634–1661) by Roger Nicole

The name of Amyraut is probably most commonly associated with the controversy on universal grace which flared in the Reformed churches in the seventeenth century. Because of the importance of this controversy in Amyraut’s career and the significance of this issue for Reformed doctrine, special attention has been devoted to this aspect of our bibliography. A brief survey of the major developments in this controversy appears desirable at this point, followed by a summary of the most important arguments advanced by both sides.
We distinguish three main phases of the controversy: I, 1634–1637; II, 1641–1649; III, 1655–1661.
1. First phase: 1634–1637. From the Brief Traitté to and including the National Synod of Alençon (1637).
In 1634, Amyraut published a volume on predestination (Brief Traitté de la Predestination et de ses Principales Dépendances, Saumur, 1634; 2d ed. 1658). His treatment was meant to offset the charge, frequently urged, that the Reformed faith presented God as arbitrary, unjust, and insincere; creating the reprobates for sin and then punishing them for sinning; offering in the gospel a salvation which he had no intention to convey. This, he felt, was a real obstacle in the path of many Roman Catholics who were inclined to become Reformed, and a stumbling block to many Reformed who were tempted to join the ranks of the Roman Catholics. In this book the following positions were espoused:
1. Sin is the result of the darkening of the understanding (ch. 5).
2. God, moved by an earnest desire to save all mankind, decided to give in ransom his Son Jesus Christ, who died ‘equally for all men’, and to make a universal offer of salvation to all men (ch. 7).
3. This offer is made sometimes more clearly, as when the gospel is preached; sometimes more obscurely, as in the case of the witness of nature to the heathen unreached by the gospel. Nevertheless God has predestined all men and every man unto salvation, provided they believe; and in nature there is a sufficient presentation of the truth so that men may exercise faith if they only will do so (ch. 7).
4. Although man is not precluded from believing by any external constraint, his corruption has rendered him morally unable to accept God’s offer. It is therefore necessary that God himself should produce faith in the hearts of those whom he has chosen to redeem (ch. 9).
5. This he does only for the elect, by a supernatural enlightenment of mind or by sweet moral suasion, which leaves intact the operation of the will (ch. 11, 12).
Amyraut was in agreement on most points with a less able work, published in Latin in 1633 by Paul Testard of Blois (1599–1650) and entitled Eirenikon seu Synopsis Doctrinae de Natura et Gratia. Inasmuch as both of these works generated serious misgivings, Amyraut published Six Sermons intended as an apology for his scheme. They were preceded by an essay in which he sought to prove that Calvin held the same views as himself (Echantillon de la Doctrine de Calvin, Saumur, 1636).
Synod of Alençon
Considerable unrest developed in a number of French provinces and even in some foreign countries. It was determined that the matter should be brought to the judgment of the next national synod (Alençon, 1637). The synod received messages from Geneva and the Netherlands, warning against innovations. Pierre du Moulin (1568–1658) and André Rivet (1572–1651) had each prepared a fairly elaborate refutation of Amyraut and Testard, which they did not publish but sent to the Synod. After very extensive deliberations, in which Amyraut and Testard received ample opportunity to explain their views and answer questions, they were finally honorably dismissed to return to the exercise of their charges. Inasmuch as this decision was variously interpreted later on, it is desirable to add here a few observations.
1. Naturally enough, in the explanations they gave, Amyraut and Testard sought to conform their presentation and language as closely as they could to the traditional Reformed views without making an outright disavowal of their previously printed sentiments. It would be difficult to maintain that they were wholly free of dissimulation in this matter. For instance, it seems fairly obvious that their printed utterances were ill in keeping with the Canons of the Synod of Dort, to which they pledged allegiance. In view of what they wrote later, the conclusion is inevitable either that they were not very forthright or that they did not yet grasp well the implications of their own position.
2. The Synod pronounced mild censure upon them by prohibiting certain expressions that they had used, such as, ‘conditional decrees’,
‘Christ died equally for all’, ‘God’s velleity, or vehement desire of things that do not come to pass’, and others. In blaming these forms of language, they indirectly blamed the views of which they were the natural formulation. The explanation, given by Amyraut, that these were simply anthropomorphic is rather unconvincing. The question here is not merely one of terms chosen or of method pursued: rather, it relates to the fundamental question of the nature and order of the divine decrees. To suggest that in God the decree is one and that there is no order is subversive of the whole plan of salvation (cf. B. B. Warfield, The Plan of Salvation, Grand Rapids, 1942.)
3. The suggestion was made, and entertained at the Synod, that some of Amyraut’s and Testard’s opponents had personal rather than theological grievances against them; also that their representations of Saumurian views were unreliable and extreme (outré). The latter was probably true of du Moulin, who had not been content to quote, but had, with devastating effect, drawn the logical implications which he saw in the position.
4. The fact that the views of Amyraut and Testard paralleled quite closely those of their teacher J. Cameron was an incentive for leniency. It seemed awkward and unjust to condemn posthumously one whose great services in the controversies against Arminians and Roman Catholics deserved the lasting gratitude of the Reformed Churches of France.
5. If it was desired not to deal with utmost severity by deposing Amyraut and Testard from their charges on the ground of heresy, there was rather little room left to express the Synod’s dissatisfaction. Indeed, to censure them outright without deposing them would greatly impair their usefulness, perhaps wreck the Academy of Saumur. Short of dismissal, there seemed only one course open to the Synod: mild censure. It may be thought that the majority intended just this in the decision rendered.
6. In order to preclude further complications, the Synod forbad discussion on the points raised. This decision proved ineffective, since jurisdiction was lacking outside of France. Furthermore, it erroneously suggested that discussion on these topics was wrong rather than that certain opinions on these issues were false. Unless there are purely personal factors at work, one can scarcely hope to solve a theological dispute by shutting off debate.
For some time the controversy seemed to abate, although in 1638 the Arminian E. de Courcelles (Curcellaeus, 1586–1659), having secured a copy of du Moulin’s refutation, maliciously published it without the consent of its author under the title Examen de la Doctrine de Messieurs Amyraut et Testard … (Amsterdam, 1638).
2. Second Phase: 1641–1649. From the Defensio Calvini to the Act of Thouars.
In 1641, Amyraut took the pen to defend Calvin’s view of reprobation, which had been severely criticized in an anonymous work. In this volume, titled Doctrinae J. Calvini de Absoluto Reprobationis Decreto Defensio, Amyraut took occasion to reassert covertly his main positions previously set forth. On the whole, however, this volume was written so as not to antagonize Amyraut’s earlier opponents, and it was framed as a defense of Calvin against the attacks and misrepresentations of a man of decided Arminian convictions. As such, Amyraut’s book received general commendation, notably by A. Rivet. An amplified translation into French, prepared by Amyraut himself, appeared in 1644. It may be of interest to note that both John Davenant (Animadversions … upon … God’s Love to Mankind, London, 1641) and William Twisse (The Riches of Gods Love …, Oxford, 1653) saw fit, as did Amyraut, to write extensively in refutation of this work, produced originally in English by S. Hoard under the title God’s Love to Mankind (1633).
In 1644, at the urgent request of a student, as he avers, Frederic Spanheim (1600–1649) prepared some theses against the view of universal grace, to be used in a public disputation at the University of Leyden. Amyraut, feeling that he was the target of this attack, replied the same year in two dissertations, one on universal grace and another on particular grace, which he set to print together with two other discussions (Dissertationes Quatuor, Saumur, 1645; 2d ed. with two additional dissertations, Saumur, 1660).
Spanheim decided to prepare a thoroughgoing reply and produced a work of some 2,600 pages, including a long historical preface (Exercitationes de Gratia Universali, Leiden, 1646, 3 vols.). In this he left no stone unturned in his efforts to refute Amyraut. Unfortunately, with a work of this size, there was a tendency to digress and to spend time on points of very peripheral importance, such as the type of vocabulary and Latin grammar used by Amyraut. The latter replied in kind and produced a heavy tome: A Sample of Remarks (Specimen Animadversionum in Exercitationes de Gratia Universali, Saumur, 1648). For a ‘sample’ this was ample for the book has some 960 quarto pages and almost equals in length Spanheim’s treatise. The tone was often quite haughty, sometimes virulent to the point of discourtesy. The work was prefaced by a lengthy historical account of the whole controversy addressed to the pastors of France (‘Apologetica Praefatio’).

Meanwhile, Amyraut had published two related works intended to evidence his orthodoxy: one is directed against Arminianism (Fidei M.Amyraldi circa Errores Arminianorum Declaratio, Saumur, 1646; in French 1646); the other deals with free will (Disputatio de Libero Arbitrio, Saumur, 1647). Mention might also be made of important, lengthy apologetic letters sent to A. Rivet and to Irminger of Zurich. The former is known to us only in part through a response to it prepared by Spanheim and published by Rivet; the latter is available in manuscript copies in Zurich, Geneva and Basel.

The ‘Apologetica Praefatio’ aroused objection and unleashed a veritable flurry of refutations. A. Rivet determined now to publish his critique addressed to the Synod of Alençon as mentioned above (Synopsis Doctrinae Mosis Amyraldi … de Natura et Gratia …, Amsterdam, 1649) as well as certain letters dealing with the events of the controversy (Epistolae Apologeticae, Amsterdam, 1648). Pierre du Moulin published a revised edition of his earlier work, previously pirated by de Courcelles (Esclaircissement des Controverses Salmuriennes, Leiden, 1648), and a special discussion of Amyraut’s new book (… de Mosis Amyraldi … Libro Judicium, Rotterdam, 1649), not to mention a very brief, but very damaging extract of statements drawn from Amyraut’s book (Articuli Fidei Amyraldianae, n. pl., 1649) and a letter to his nephew S. de Langle of Rouen in which he added to his previous grievances against the professor of Saumur that he was too lenient toward the Roman Catholics.
As for Spanheim, he indicated his reaction in a published letter of almost 200 pages to the French pastor M. Cottière (Epistola ad M. Cottierum …, Leiden, 1648). He meant, furthermore, to refute at length Amyraut’s whole work and was busily engaged in this project when death overtook him (1649). His son, Ezechiel, published posthumously what was ready, adding an essay of his own upon the Latin style of Amyraut (Vindiciae pro Exercitationibus, Leiden, 1649). To close the list we might yet mention the work of a layman, Georges Reveau, written under the pseudonym of Gregorius Velleius (… de Specimine … Judicium, Leiden, 1649) as well as some attacks from Philippe Vincent (Epistola Historica et Apologetica, n. pl., 1648) and Guillaume Rivet (Vindiciae Evangelicae de Justificatione …, Leiden, 1648). In 1649 Amyraut replied in print to Vincent and to a letter of G. Rivet: there was every appearance of a protracted controversy.
Acte de Thouars. At this point, Henri-Charles de la Tremoille, a Protestant prince, arranged for a private meeting in his domains between Amyraut, P. Vincent, G. Rivet, and a few others. At his solicitation, any personal animosity between the parties was buried, and a commitment was made to discontinue polemic pieces. This compact, known as the ‘Acte de Thouars’, was signed on October 16, 1649. André Rivet, at the request of the prince, subsequently joined in the agreement. Needless to say, there was in all this no resolution of the doctrinal differences, but merely an engagement to desist from polemics. Some years later (1655) even P. du Moulin and Amyraut effected a reconciliation on the personal plane by an exchange of friendly letters indicative of mutual affection. After this, Amyraut did not take any active part in the controversy, except perhaps in an indirect way, in some works mainly concerned with other topics or in the republication of earlier works, as noted above.
3. Third Phase: 1655–1661.
In 1655 two works appeared in print in Amsterdam from the pen of Parisian pastors who had supported Amyraut from the start: David Blondel (1590–1655) produced a very partisan account of the course of events in the controversy, with supporting documents subjoined, entitled Actes Authentiques. A reply in detail appeared anonymously in Groningen in 1658 under the title Considérations Libres et Charitables sur le Recueit des Actes Authentiques. The author was Jacques Gautier, minister in Poitou. These two volumes provide interesting and important details concerning the course of the controversy.
Jean Daillé (1594–1670) produced a large work, running to more than 1,200 pages, Apology for the Synods of Alençon and Charenton (Apologia pro Synodis). It was a vast storehouse of all the main arguments used during the controversy, including a long series of quotations allegedly favoring Amyraut’s views and culled from authors ranging from the Apostolic Fathers to Twisse and P. du Moulin himself! This book stimulated a number of refutations. The son of Pierre du Moulin, Louis (1606–1680), professor of history at Oxford, attacked it vigorously in a lengthy preface to his defense of Congregationalism against Amyraut’s advocacy of synodal church government (Paraenesis ad Aedificatores Imperii in Imperio adversus M. Amyraldum, London, 1656). In Groningen, Samuel Desmarets (Maresius, 1599–1673) wrote a series of three critical discussions (Epicrisis Theologica et Amica ad Quaestiones de Gratia et Redemptione Universali, 1658).

When Daillé replied with a vindication of his book (Vindiciae pro Apologia, Amsterdam, 1657), a new sally broke forth. Louis du Moulin published a lengthy apologetic letter (… Epistola … in qua Gratiam Divinam seque Defendit, London 1658). Spanheim’s son, Frederic, Jr. (1632–1701), published a letter to Desmarets in defense of his father (Pro Parente, Heidelberg, 1658). Desmarets himself expanded his earlier work, adding seven new dissertations and a direct refutation of the Vindiciae. He called this the ‘controversial part’

(Pars Anaskeuastike) as contrasted with the ‘constructive part’ (Pars Kataskeuastike) of his Epicrisis. These appeared in Groningen, in 1658 and 1661 respectively, and constitute one of the most orderly and comprehensive presentations of the subject from the viewpoint of traditional Reformed orthodoxy. In 1659, a reconciliation on the personal plane was effected between Desmarets and Daillé by the good offices of Melle de la Tremoille, but Desmarets retained the right to write on this subject.
At the national Synod of Loudun in 1659, Daillé was elected moderator, Amyraut and Daillé were acknowledged to be orthodox, and an earlier condemnation of La Place’s view of mediate imputation was softened. Thus it was apparent that the spirit of Saumur was gaining ground.
Summary of the Main Arguments Used
Since these protracted debates were often complex, and since the works which were produced in the course of them are generally extremely rare (and written in Latin or French), it appears desirable to provide here a very brief overview of the main lines of argumentation which were pursued on both sides. Obviously, the listing of these will not resolve the dispute, but it will afford the reader a general orientation which may be useful in dealing with this issue and with the documents listed in our bibliography.
Both sides advanced considerations in four major categories: scriptural, logical, historical and prudential.
1. Arguments for Amyraldianism
Scriptural Grounds. Amyraut and/or those who supported him claimed the support of the Bible in three major respects.
1. Passages which are construed to teach that there is a universal saving will of God toward all men and every man (Ezek. 18:23; 33:11; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9; John 3:16).
2. Passages which are construed to teach that some men for whom Christ died may ultimately perish (Rom. 14:15; 1 Cor. 8:11; Heb. 10:29; 2 Pet. 2:1).
3. Passages which are construed to teach that the saving work of Christ is intended for all (Isa. 53:6; Rom. 5:18; 8:32; 2 Cor. 5:14; 1 Tim. 2:6; Tit. 2:11), for every one (Heb. 2:9), for the world (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2).
Logical Grounds. The Amyraldians insisted that a universal propitiation and intention was necessary, if:
1. we are to maintain a well-meant offer of the gospel to all men;
2. there is to be any propriety in the command to believe addressed to men indiscriminately;
3. there is to be any justice in condemning one for not believing;
4. the character of God, the true beauty of his graciousness, and the strict fairness of his justice are to be placed in the proper light.
Historical Grounds. Amyraut and his followers urged that their view was in harmony with:
1. all the confessional statements of the Reformed churches, including the Canons of Dort;
2. the historic view of the ancient church and most of its prominent teachers, including Augustine;
3. the view of the great Reformers, notably Calvin;
4. the express view of a number of delegates to the Synod of Dort, particularly those from England and Germany;
5. certain apparently unguarded statements made even by their adversaries (du Moulin, Rivet, Spanheim, etc.).
Prudential Grounds. This view should, it was urged,
1. make easier a much needed union with other Protestants, notably the Lutherans;
2. remove some difficulties encountered in the controversy with Roman Catholics;
3. remove an obstacle to the conversion of Roman Catholics to the Reformed faith and strengthen the hold of the Reformed upon their own members;
4. provide a legitimate alternative to the stricter views held by opponents. It was thought that these should not be excluded, but that both approaches might be allowed to coexist side by side within the Reformed church, for the differences, it was urged, related to method and minor points and not to any essential point of doctrine.
2. Arguments against Amyraldianism
In reply to these arguments, Amyraut’s opponents pressed the following considerations:
Scriptural Grounds
1. They urged that the Scriptures quoted above are not conclusive. More specifically, the extension of the words ‘all’, ‘world’, ‘every’ must be determined in terms of the context. In this wise, ‘all men’ (1 Tim. 2:4) may mean ‘all kinds of men, men of all classes, races, and types’; ‘the whole world’ (1 John 2:2) may refer to the elect people of all nations and ages. In the cases of Isaiah 53:6; Hebrews 2:9; Romans 8:32; and 2 Corinthians 5:14, the context indicates that ‘all’ envisioned are those who ‘are healed’; who are ‘sons brought to glory’; who ‘have been predestined’ and ‘shall not be separated from the love of God’; and who are ‘dead in Christ’.
Furthermore, the Scriptures do emphasize the definite reference of Christ’s death to the redeemed: he gave his life for the people (Matt. 1:21), for his Church (Eph. 5:23, 25; Acts 20:28), for his sheep (John 10:15), for his friends (John 15:13), for many (Matt. 20:28; 26:28; Mark 10:45), for us (Tit. 2:14), for me (Gal. 2:20).
2. While Romans 14:15 and 1 Corinthians 8:11 may seem to teach that Christ died for some who perish, Romans 14:4 may be quoted, they urged, to prove that these shall not in fact be lost. Passages like Hebrews 10:29 and 2 Peter 2:1 may refer to what the apostates professed to have, rather than to what they had in fact: to argue from these Scriptures to universal redemption appears out of keeping with the context, for the seriousness of this apostasy is due to the special relationship which they professed to Christ and the Holy Spirit. Moreover, if it be claimed that the terms used here describe real benefits conferred, great difficulties will arise in relation to the doctrine of perseverance, which the Amyraldians meant to maintain.
3. They urged that the Scriptures teach that the design of the Father in sending the Son, and of the Son in offering himself, was precisely to redeem those who were given to him (John 6:38, 39; 11:52; Tit. 2:14).
Logical Grounds. In addition to fairly extensive refutations of the logical arguments listed above, Amyraut’s opponents urged the following:
1. The intercession of Christ is explicitly restricted to the saved (John 17:9). Consistency in the priestly work of Christ demands that satisfaction and intercession be coextensive.
2. If Christ has truly borne the sins of a man in penal substitution, there is nothing left for divine justice to punish. A universal substitution would therefore imply universal salvation. But salvation will be restricted to only some of the race, so substitution and redemption must therefore be particular as well.
3. Was the purpose of the work of Christ, they asked, to effect divine reconciliation and human redemption, or merely to render God reconcilable and man salvable? If the former, definite atonement follows; if the latter, a human ingredient is to be superadded to the work of Christ. It is this ingredient which determines the difference between the saved and the lost, and the conclusion follows that the mere work of Christ actually saves no one. This would appear derogatory to Christ and repugnant to Scripture. A conditional impetration is really no impetration at all!
4. To proffer a blessing contingent upon the fulfillment of an unrealizable condition, they averred, is altogether futile. On Amyraut’s own showing, since no one has faith but those to whom it is efficaciously given by God, a universal redemption on condition of faith is not a blessing which issues in any concrete advantage to the non-elect.
5. Saving faith, they remarked, as the gift of God, is granted to man as the fruit of the saving work of Christ. If this work is universal in its scope, it is difficult to see why faith is not conferred upon all men.
6. At the time of the death of our Lord, the eternal destiny of many reprobates had already been sealed in death (e.g., some sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah). Can we suppose, they asked, that our Lord died with the intent of bearing the sins of those who were then and there in hell? If we reflect that knowledge of our Lord, as to his divine nature, is not subject to any limitation by virtue of time, the very same reasoning would apply to all reprobates, past, present, and future.
7. While Amyraut and his followers show a praiseworthy desire to exalt the greatness of God’s love by extending its scope or object, it was noted they do by the same token curtail its power, depth, and effectiveness. We may more worthily magnify the majesty of God if we represent his love, not as frustrated and defeated by the obduracy of the creature, but as finding its glorious fulfillment in a victorious overcoming of all obstacles, even those raised by man himself. The choice here is not between limited and unlimited atonement, but between an effective atonement limited in breadth to the redeemed and a universal atonement limited in depth to the point of ineffectuality.
8. To attempt to combine universal redemption with particular election, they pressed, is to introduce an intolerable disjunction in the
divine purpose. This disjunction in fact threatens the unity of the Trinitarian relationship, for it would show Christ intending to die for those whom the Father has not given to him, and whom the Holy Spirit will not regenerate.
Historical Grounds
1. While it was owned that some Fathers of the Church have penned statements which reflect the view of general atonement, this was not construed as a strong presumption in favor of the doctrine.
With respect to several of them however, notably Augustine, quotations to the opposite effect could be made, and were made.
2. Far from teaching universal redemption, Calvin and most of the great early leaders of the Reformed church held to definite atonement, it was urged.
3. Reformed confessions, and particularly the Canons of the Synod of Dort, support vigorously the view of Amyraut’s opponents.
4. Amyraut’s views, and the arguments by which they were supported, it was urged, bore unmistakable resemblance to the Arminian approach.
Prudential Grounds
1. To make a concession at this point, they urged, would be to open a breach in the whole Reformed system.
2. This would breed disregard of the subordinate standards and lead to a general loosening of the doctrinal soundness of the church.
3. This could open the way for inroads of Arminianism and even of Romanism.
4. If the subject was really as trivial as Amyraut’s supporters claimed, and concerned merely method, it is difficult to see why they were so prone to disturb the church and so insistent in holding on to their positions in the face of synodical opposition.
Further Developments
France. As may be gathered from the above account, the influence of Amyraut was constantly on the increase between 1637 and 1659. At first, only a few provinces and the Church of Paris supported him, and there was resolute opposition in many quarters. With the passage of time, however, the number of those who had been trained under him at Saumur kept growing, while those who entertained misgivings either died or became convinced that there was no basic difference in doctrine but merely one of language and of method. The main opponents were writing from outside of France. (This is true even of Sedan, which was not under the king of France at that time.)
The orientation of the movement became more clearly manifest in one of the most gifted successors of Amyraut, Claude Pajon (1626–1685). His distinctive approach was to deny that there is any direct internal operation of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, for he held that the Spirit works purely in terms of the suasion that is effected by the presentation of the truth. This tended to relieve the clash between the Amyraldian conception of the universal design of the Father and of Christ in redemption and the particularistic activity of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. In Pajon’s scheme, the saving work on the Holy Spirit was also both universalized and rendered ineffective of itself. This was taking a big step toward outright Arminianism, in spite of Pajon’s efforts to retain some place for divine sovereignty in election and reprobation. Needless to say, this approach was in flat contradiction to the Canons of Dort (3d and 4th head, art. 10–12; rejection 7, 8), and it is not surprising that objections were soon raised against the authority of that statement of faith.
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. As far as can be seen, it did not in fact help to promote any basic union with the Lutherans, nor did it materially assist in preventing abjurations to the RC faith. On the other hand, 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.
Switzerland showed great interest in the movement. Geneva and Zürich repeatedly protested against the ‘Salmurian innovations’. They sought to influence the decisions of the French synods; they maintained correspondence with some of the key figures; they sought to discourage any Swiss candidates for the ministry from attending Saumur; they examined with great care those who came from France as refugees, with a view to preventing the acceptance as ministers of those who may have been ‘tainted’.

In 1675, after lengthy efforts made by L. Gernler in Basel, J.R. Stücki and J. H. Heidegger in Zürich, F. Turrettini in Geneva, and others, a special statement of faith was drawn up to which subscription was required of ministers in many areas. This statement, the Formula Consensus Ecclesiarum Helveticarum …, was directly opposed to the novel views of Saumur, and 16 of its 26 articles were specifically directed against the doctrine of universal grace, as presented by Amyraut.

In spite of these efforts, the opponents of the old orthodoxy slowly gained ground. In Geneva, serious difficulties were experienced with Cl. Mussard, Alex Morus and Robert Chouet, who were in varying degrees influenced by Saumur. Louis Tronchin and Philippe Mestrezat, professors of theology in the Academy, were at first secret, and later open, sympathizers with the new views. In the course of the eighteenth century, the Formula Consensus was abrogated almost everywhere as a test of faith, principally through the efforts of S. Werenfels, J. F. Ostervald, and J. A. Turrettini, the son of Francis Turrettini, who had been one of its main promoters!
The Netherlands. The resistance seemed at first more successful, for the whole movement was viewed as an attack upon the Canons of Dort and as a dangerous compromise with Arminianism. It is in this country that many of the principal opponents of Amyraut resided; even P. du Moulin had for some time taught at Leiden (1592–1598). Because of the freedom of the press, it is here that many of the books relating to the controversy were published. As the Netherlands became one of the main havens of refuge for French Reformed people after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), a good many refugees imported their views. This may have paved the way for the relaxing influence of the Cartesian and Cocceian schools of theology in Holland. Venema, van Oosterzee, Doedes, etc., may be listed as more recent representatives of this trend.
Germany. It is difficult to trace the influence of Amyraut here, for views which have considerable similarity were held well before him in Bremen (Crocius, Martinius), Hesse and Nassau. H. Heppe and J. H. A. Ebrard are modern representatives of this trend.
Anglo-Saxon Lands. In England John Davenant (1570–1641) held views on the extent of the atonement which resemble Amyraut’s (cf. his Dissertationes Duae: Prima de Morte Christi …, Cambridge, 1650; Eng. trans. by J. Allport in the 2d vol. of Davenant’s Exposition of … Colossians, London, 1831, 1832). Richard Baxter openly avowed that he espoused Amyraldian views, and he listed other English divines who did so too (Preface to Disputations of the Right to the Sacraments, 1657). Amyraut dedicated one of his works to Bishop Cosin of Durham. We may mention also the names of E. Polhill, Ed. Calamy, Ed. Williams, George Payne, A. C. Clifford.
In Scotland similar views were held by James Fraser of Brea, Thomas Mair, the New Light Reformed Presbytery, James Morison and his group (although John Brown, his professor, probably stopped somewhat short of full Amyraldianism), and R. Wardlaw.
In the United States this type of view has been influential in New England Theology (S. Hopkins, E. Griffin, L. Woods), in New School Presbyterianism (J. Richards), among certain Baptists, otherwise Calvinistically inclined (E. Dodge, A. Hovey, Pepper, A. H. Strong), and many others (L. S. Chafer).
P Bayle, Dictionnaire Historique (2nd ed., 1702), s.v.
L S Chafer, Systematic Theology (Wheaton Ill., 1948) III, 183–205.
W Cunningham, Historical Theology (Edinburgh, 1870; London, 1960) II, 323–370.
A Gib, The Present Truth (Edinburgh, 1774), II, 148–191, 273–302.
E Griffin. … the Extent of the Atonement (New York, 1819).
Haag-Bordier, ‘Amyraut’, La France Protestante (2nd ed.; Paris, 1877), I, 185–206 (the best bibliography of Amyraut’s works).
A A Hodge, The Atonement (Philadelphia, 1867), Part II.
R B Kuiper, For Whom Did Christ Die? (Grand Rapids, 1959).
F Laplanche, L’Enseignement de Moyse Amyraut … sur la Grâce et la Prédestination, Son Retentissement dans les Eglises Réformées (Diss., Angers), 1954 or 1955. (Very valuable.)
A Marshall, The Atonement or the Death of Christ the Redemption of His People (Glasgow, 1868).
J Moltmann, Gnadenbund und Gnadenwahl (Diss., Göttingen), 1951.
J Moltmann, ‘Gnadenbund und Gnadenwahl’, Zeitschrift für Kirkengeschichte 65 (1953/4), 270–303.
J Owen, The Death of Death (London, 1959). Also in Works, ed. Goold, X, 140–428.
C M Pfaff, Schediasma Theologicum de Formula Consensus Helvetica (Tübingen, 1723).
J Quick, ‘Amyraut’, Icones Sacrae Callicanae, 958–1028.
O Ritschl, Dogmengeschichte des Protestantismus (Göttiingen, 1926) III, 402–412.
A Schweitzer, Die Protestantischen Centraldogmen.… (Zürich, 1856), II, 225–747.
G Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Atonement as Taught by Christ Himself (1868; Repr.; Grand Rapids, 1953), 468–472.
A Viguié, ‘Amyraut‘, Encyclopédic des Sciences Religieuses (Paris, 1877), I, 273–285.
J G Walch, Einleitung in die Religionsstreitigkeiten … ausser der Lutherischen Kirche (Jena, 1734) III, 736–742.
B B Warfield, The Plan of Salvation (Grand Rapids, 1942), 90–97.
H E Weber, Reformation, Orthodoxie und Rationalismus. II. Der Geist der Orthodoxie (Gütersloh, 1951).
The present article (pp. 323–36) is drawn from my published volume Moyce Amyraut. A Bibliography with special Reference to the Controversy on Universal Grace. New York and London, Garland, 1981. viii. 209 pages. This was an expansion of a portion of my Ph.D. thesis at Harvard University (1967). The latter part of this article (pp. 336–39) is drawn from Ed Palmer, ed. Encyclopedia of Christianity, I, 192–93. (1964). It appears advisable to indicate some important contributions that appeared after 1964.
Primary sources:
Hans Bots and Pierre Leroy, eds. Correspondence Intégrate (1641–1650) d’André Rivet et de Claude Sarrau. 3 vols. Amsterdam: APA-Holland, 1978–82. 1585 pp.
Important discussions:
Armstrong, Brian. Calvinism and the Amyraut Heresy, Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1969. xx, 390 pp.
Laplanche, Francois. Orthodoxie et Prédication. L’Oeuvre d’Amyraut et la Querelle de la Grace Universelle. Paris: Presses Universitaries, 1965. 358 pp.
Nicole, Roger. ‘Moyse Amyraut and the Controversy on Universal Grace.’ First Phase. Ph.D thesis. Harvard University.
Proctor, Leonard. ‘The Theology of Moise Amyraut considered as a Reaction against 17th Century Calvinism.’ Unpublished thesis for the University of Leeds.
Van Stam, Frans Pieter, The Controversy over the Theology of Saumur, 1635–1650. Amsterdam: APA-Holland, 1988. xiv, 497 pp.
It is also important to note the superb bibliography of Pierre Du Moulin, Sr. by Brian Armstrong, Bibliographia Molineai. Geneva: Droz, 1997. clviii, 564 pp.
J Murray, Redemption, Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids, 1955), 69–85.

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