Thursday, 26 January 2012

Moise Amyraut

Moise Amyraut, also known as Amyraldus, was born at Bourgueil, in the valley of the Changeon in the province of Anjou. His father was a lawyer, and, preparing Moses for his own profession, sent him, on the completion of his study of the humanities at Orléans to the university of Poitiers.

At the university he gained his BA degree (of laws). On returning home from the university, he passed through the city of Saumur. Having visited the pastor of the Protestant church there, he was introduced to Philippe de Mornay, City governor. Impressed by young Amyraut's ability and culture, they both pressed him to change course from law to theology. His father advised him to read over Calvin's Institutions, before finally determining on what course to follow. He did so, and decided for theology.

He moved to the Academy of Saumur, studying under the Scottish theologian, John Cameron, who came to regarded Amyraut as his greatest scholar. He acquitted himself well in his studies, and was in due time licensed as a minister of the French Protestant Church. However, contemporary civil events hindered his advancement. He remained for two years in his first church in Saint-Aignan, Maine. His colleague, Jean Daillé, who moved to the church at Charenton in Paris, advised the church at Saumur to secure Amyraut as his successor, which it did. At the same time, Saumur University had intentions on him to become professor of theology. Two other churches, Paris and Rouen, also contended for him, but to no avail.

Amyraut was appointed to Saumur in 1633, and also to the professor's chair. Amyraut soon gave to French Protestantism a new direction, and in that was true to the teaching of John Calvin.

He published his Traité des religions (Treatise Concerning Religions) in 1631; and from then onward he was an acknowledged leader in the church. He died on 18 January 1664.

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