Camero, or Cameron, John
Camero, Or Cameron, John, one of the greatest Protestant divines of France in the seventeenth century, and founder of the "moderate" school of Calvinism, was born in Glasgow 1579 or 1580. Before he was twenty he began to lecture in Greek at the University of Glasgow; in 1600 he went to France; and in 1602 he was made professor of philosophy at Sedan. The Church of Bordeaux defrayed his expenses for four years in studying theology at Paris, Geneva, and Heidelberg. In 1608 he became pastor at Bordeaux, where he preached with great success until 1618, when he became professor of theology at Saumuri but on the dispersion of the University in 1621 by the civil wars he returned to Glasgow, where he taught a short time, and in 1624 was chosen professor of theology at Montauban, France, where he was killed, in a political tumult, in 1625.
Camero's theology was modified Calvinism. He opposed "the imputation of the active righteousness of Christ," and "the non-concurrence of the human will with the grace of God in man's conversion." He "adopted from Arminius the doctrine of universal redemption, and the duty of presenting the offer of salvation, without restriction, to all men." His views were adopted and developed by Amyraut, Placaeus, and Cappellus (q.v.), especially the view that God does not "move the will physically, but only morally, in virtue of its relations to the judgment and intellect." His doctrine, however, is far removed from Arminianism, as is shown by his colloquy with Tilenus-Amica Collatio de Gratice et Volunt. Humance concursu (Leyden, 1621), SEE TILENUS, — and also by his Defensio de Gratia et Libero Arbitrio (Saumur, 1624, 8vo). His doctrine of universal grace may be thus summed up:
(1) "that God desires the happiness of all men, and that no mortal is excluded by any divine decree from the benefits that are procured by the death, sufferings, and gospel of Christ;
(2) that, however, none can be made a partaker of the blessings of the Gospel, and of eternal salvation, unless he believe in Jesus Christ;
(3) that such, indeed, is the immense and universal goodness of the Supreme Being, that He refuses to none the power of believing, though he does not grant unto all His assistance and succor, that they may wisely improve this power to the attainment of everlasting salvation; and that, in consequence of this, multitudes perish through their own fault, and not from any want of goodness in God." Those who embraced this doctrine were called Universalists, because they represented God as willing to show mercy to all mankind; and Hypothetical Universalists, because the condition of faith in Christ was necessary to render them the objects of this mercy. SEE AMYRAUT. His writings are collected under the title Opera, partim ab auct. edita, partim post ej. obit. vulgata (Genev. 1658, fol.). — Calder, Life of Episcopius, 456; Hook, Eccl. Biog. 2:407; Nichols,
Calvinism and Arminianism, 1:202 sq.; Watson, Theol. Inst. 2:215, 411; Smith's Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, § 225, a.