Pajon, Claude

Pajon, Claude a noted French Protestant divine, celebrated as an apologist of the new doctrines, but also distinguished as somewhat alien to orthodox teachings was born at Remorantin, in Low Blesois, in 1626. Belonging to a family which had early and fervently embraced the Reformed theology, Claude Pajon was educated with great care in order that he might prove faithful to the good cause, and when he decided to enter the work of the ministry he was sent to the theological school at Saumur, where, under Amyraut, Placaeus, and Capellus, he prepared for his life-work. In 1650 he was made pastor at Marchenoir, and he held that place until 1666, when he was called to a professorship in divinity at his alma mater, as successor of the much- distinguished Amyraut (q.v.). That good man held heterodox views on the Caivinistic doctrines of predestination and grace. Pajon in like manner stirred up considerable agitation by his peculiar views on these subjects. He denied the immediate concursus in providence, and the direct influence of the Holy Spirit in conversion. The gracious influence of the Holy Spirit he held to be so intimately united with the efficacy of the Word that there was no possibility of an immediate influence of the Spirit upon the heart; that its influence was principally upon the understanding, through the medium of the Scriptures and the whole course of a man's life. These views, which were proclaimed against by the extreme Calvinists as Pelagianism, brought him into disrepute, and he felt compelled to resign his professorship. In 1668 he accepted a call as pastor to the Protestant Church at Orleans; but, as he continued to advocate his heterodox teachings, he encountered the combined opposition of the leading theologians of the French Protestant Church, and was subjected to much annoyance and severe treatment. By the influence of Jurieu and others, several synods were held to consider his heretical dogmas, and, in spite of many friends who rallied to his defence and support, he was condemned by the synods, first in 1677, and at several synods following. The Academy of Sedan also condemned his doctrines, and that without a hearing; and when he desired to defend himself, the privilege was denied him on the ground that he only wished an opportunity to propagate is heresy. Pajon died Sept. 27, 1695, at Carre, near Orleans. His views found advocates, and Pajonism is not an extinct heresy in our day. The origin of the heresy, we think, is easily accounted for. The French Church had originally adopted the unmodified Calvinistic predestination dogma. Many of the thinking minds of the French Protestant Church sought for a milder doctrine more in harmony with a commonsense interpretation of the Scriptures. Consequently there arose contentions and divisions in the French Church as far back as the opening of the 17th century. John Cameron, the Scotch professor of divinity at Sedan, and later at Saumur, advocated a moderated scheme of election, and it is therefore not particularly wonderful that the French theologians Amyraut, Placaeus, and Pajon should have tried their skilful hand in the pruning of a tree whose fruit the masses would not relish as it first came to them. SEE PREDESTINATION. Among the ablest advocates of Pajonism were Isaac Papin (q.v.), Lenfant, Alix, Du Vidal, and many others. Of the fifty works which Pajon composed, he published only three: Sermon on 2 Corinthians 3:17 (Saumur, 1666), the doctrines of which were more clearly set forth by Isaac Papin under the name of Pajonism. — An Examination of the Legal Precedents (of P. Nicole) (q.v.) (Orleans, 1673, 2 vols.); an excellent defence of the Protestant faith against the Romanists: — Remarks on the Pastoral Call (Amsterdam, 1685). The doctrinal views of Pajon were especially answered with ability from the Reformed side by Claude and Jurieu, Traite de Ta Nature et de la Grace, ou de Concours general de la Providence, et du Concours particulier de Grace effcace, contre les nouvelles hypotheses de M. P. [ajon] et de ses Disciples (Utrecht, 1687); also by Leydecker and Spanhelm: from the Lutheran side by Val. Ernest: Lischer (Exercitatio Theol. de Claudii Pajonii ejusque Sectator bus quos Pajonistas: vocant Doctrina et Fatis [Lips. 1692]). On the relation between his individual opinion and the general dogmatic system of the Reformed Church, and on its significance in the Reformed theology, see Zeller's Theol. Jahrb. 1852, 1853; Schweizer, Centraldogmen, ii, 564 sq.; Ebrard, Dognatik, vol. i, § 43; Gass, Dogmengesch. ii, 359 sq.; Dorner, Gesch. d. prot. Theol. p. 448 sq.; Frank, Gesch. d. prot. Theol. ii, 49 sq. See also Schriickh, Kirchengesch. s. d. Ref 7:722 sq.; De Chaufepie, Dictionnaire historigue, s.v.; Herzog, Real- Encyklopadie, 10:775-778. Pajon, Louis-Esaie, a member of the same family, was born May 21,1725, at Paris, and died July 24, 1796,. at Berlin. He served the French churches of Leipsic and of Berlin, and became a counsellor of the consistory. He edited Beausobre's Hist. of the Reformation, and translated the Moral Lessons of Gellert (Leips. 1772, 2 vols.). See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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