Today we come to one of the “giants” of the Puritans:
William Ames (1576 – 1633)
Ames was born on 1576, and was educated at Christ’s College, Cambridge University at the age of 18. Both of Ames’ parents died when he was young and he was raised by his maternal uncle. Ames graduated from university with a bachelor of Arts 4 years later, and after another 3 more years of studies, he graduated with a Masters of Arts in 1601. It was in this period, through the preaching of William Perkins, Ames went through a dramatic conversion experience. From then on, being a sincere hearted christian was Ames’ life goal and his works will be evidence of this desire.
Ames was exiled to the Netherlands 1610 because of his fearless and critical preaching, which denounced the local festival of its vices. It will be in the Netherlands whilst being exiled where Ames will excel. In the Netherlands, Ames will be recognised for his abilities in systematic theology and would be named the ‘Augustine of Holland’.
In 1622, Ames was appointed the professor of theology at Franeker University, despite protest from the English authorities. It was in this year that Ames received his Doctor of Theology having defended his thirty-eight(!) theses and four corollaries on the ‘nature, theory and practical working of conscience’. Ames continued teaching in this university until his death in 1633 due to pneumonia.
Here are some of his most famous works: