Huguenot Theologian Peter Allix (1641–1717)

Louis XIV Revoking the Edict of Nantes
I am working on a translation of Peter Allix’s Maxims of the True Christian. I hope to publish it in a series of posts for my “Sabbath Meditations.” Here is an introduction to his life adapted from the Dictionary of National Biograph:

Peter Allix (1641–1717), preacher and theologian, son of Pierre Allix, pastor of the Reformed Church of France at Alençon, was born at Alençon, Normandy in 1641. His father directed his early studies; afterwards, he attended the protestant universities of Saumur and Sedan. He was especially distinguished in the study of Hebrew and Syriac, and worked at a new translation of the Bible, in conjunction with the well-known Jean Claude (1619–1687). His first charge as a pastor was at St. Agobille in Champagne. In 1670, owing to his distinguished abilities, he was translated to Charenton, Paris, the principal reformed church of city, attended by most of the distinguished families of the reformed faith. Here he acquired great fame and power as a preacher, so much so, that in Bayle’s Dictionary a high compliment is paid to his learning and abilities. In 1683, he was chosen moderator of the last provincial synod, held at Lisy, in the diocese of Meaux. The synod numbered fifty-four ministers and sat for three weeks.

In 1685, in consequence of the revocation of the edict of Nantes, Allix was compelled to leave France. He came to England, where he at once obtained naturalization as an English subject, and authority to found in London a French church for the refugees, on condition that the worship should be conducted on the Anglican model. He rapidly acquired a complete acquaintance with the English language.

Soon after his arrival he published a learned and powerful book, entitled Reflections on the Books of the Holy Scripture, to establish the Truth of the Christian Religion. The book was dedicated to King James II, and in his dedication the author makes a cordial acknowledgment of the kindness which he and his fellow-exiles had received. Allix obtained the degree of D.D. from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and in 1690 he was appointed treasurer of the church of Salisburv.

Allix was requested to write a history of the Church Councils, a work which would have extended to seven volumes, but for want of sufficient encouragement the undertaking had to be abandoned. He wrote many books, however, on various departments of theology and church history, and from his great stores of learning, both Christian and rabbinical, many of his contributions acquired a peculiar value. In the latter part of his life he directed his attention especially to the prophecies of Scripture, and influenced in part, perhaps, by the calamities which had befallen himself and his protestant countrymen, he maintained that Jesus Christ was soon to return and reign on earth.

Louis XIV was very desirous to induce Allix to return to France, and, through his ambassador at London, made proposals to that effect, on the understanding, of course, that he would renounce his protestantism. But to such proposals Allix turned a deaf ear.

Allix was on intimate terms with manv of the most eminent men of letters of the day, by whom, as indeed by all classes in England, he was highly esteemed for the firmness of his principles, the variety and extent of his learning, his social disposition, and the integrity and consistency of his character. He died at London on 3 March 1717, aged 76.

You may see a list of his books available on the internet here


2 Replies to “Huguenot Theologian Peter Allix (1641–1717)”

  1. Yeah, I am impressed as well. I know enough French to say hello and goodbye 🙂 Thanks for posting this Wes. I was not aware of Peter Allix, but it is nice to hear about some of these reformed men who are lesser lights but certainly well worth reading. I look forward to reading the posts.

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