Cameron, John

, one of the most famous divines of the seventeenth century, among the French Protestants, was born at Glasgow, in Scotland, about the year 1580, and educated at the university of his native city. After reading lectures on the Greek language for a year, he began his travels in 1600, and at Bourdeaux evinced so much | ability and erudition, that the ministers of that city appointed him master of a college which they had established at Bergerac, for teaching Greek and Latin; and from this the duke de Bouillon removed him to the philosophical professorship at Sedan, where he remained for two years. He then went to Paris, and from Paris to Bourdeaux, where he arrived in 1604, and began his divinity studies, and in 1608 was appointed one of the ministers of Bourdeaux, and officiated there with such increasing reputation, that the university of Saumur judged him worthy to succeed Gomarus in the divinity chair. Having accepted this offer, he gave his lectures until 1620, when the university was almost dispersed by the civil war. He now came over to England with his family, and was recommended to king James, who appointed him professor of divinity at Glasgow, in the room of Robert Boyd, of Trochrig, (whom Bayle and his translators call Trochoregius), because he was supposed to be more attached to the episcopal form of church government. This situation, however, not suiting his taste, he returned to Saumur in less than a year; but even there he met with opposition, and the court having prohibited his public teaching, he was obliged to read lectures in private. After a year passed in this precarious state of toleration, he went in 1624 to Montauban, where he was chosen professor of divinity, but having declared himself too openly against the party which preached up the civil war, he created many enemies, and among the rest an unknown miscreant who assaulted him in the street, and wounded him so desperately as to occasion his death, which took place, after he had languished a considerable time, in 1625. Bayle says, he was a man of a great deal of wit and judgment, had a happy memory, was very learned, a good philosopher, of a chcarful temper, and ready to communicate not only his knowledge, but even his money: he was a great talker, a long preacher, little acquainted with the works of the fathers, obstinate in his opinions, and somewhat troublesome. He frankly owned to his friends, that he found several things still to reform in the reformed churches. He took a delight in publishing particular opinions, and in going out of the beaten road; and he gave instances of this when he was a youth, in his theses “De Tribus Frederibus,” which he published and maintained at Heidelberg, although yet but a proposant, or candidate for the ministry. He also | mixed some novelties in all the theological questions which he examined; and when in explaining some passages of the holy scripture, he met with great difficulties, he took all opportunities to contradict the other divines, and especially Beza; for he pretended that they had not penetrated into the very marrow of that science. It was from him that monsieur Amyraut adopted the doctrine of universal grace, which occasioned so many disputes in France, and will always be found, at least upon Amyraut’s principles, to be too inconsistent for general belief. Cameron’s works are his “Theological Lectures,Saumur, 1626 1628, 3 vols. 4to, published by Lewis Capellus, with a life of the author, and afterwards at Geneva in one vol. folio, with additions, by Frederick Spanheim. Capellus also published, in 1632, Cameron’s “Myrothecium Evangelicum.1


Gen. Dict.—Mosheim’s Eccl. Hist.