- The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge [Dictionary edition]
- The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I: Aachen - Basilians
AMES, WILLIAM (Lat. Amesius): Puritan; b.
at Ipswich, Suffolk, England, 1576; d. at Rotterdam Nov. 14, 1633. He studied at Christ’s College,
Cambridge, and became fellow. From the first
he was a rigid and zealous Puritan and so without
hope of preferment in the Church of England. In
1611 he went to Leyden, thence to The Hague,
where he became chaplain to, Sir Horace Vere,
commander of the English troops in the Netherlands, but lost this post through intrigues of the
High-church party at home. He was paid four
florins a day by the States General to attend the
Synod of Dort (1618-19) and assist the president;
became professor of theology at Franeker in 1622,
and rector in 1626; shortly before his death he
became pastor of the English church in Rotterdam.
He contemplated settling in New England, and
his family went thither, taking with them his
library. His influence on the Continent was considerable, and his reputation is greater there than
in his native land. As a decided Calvinist he was
active in the Arminian and other controversies
of his time, both with voice and pen. His most
noteworthy books were the Medulla theologica
(Amsterdam, 1623; Eng. transl., The Marrow of
Sacred Divinity, London, 1642) and the De conscientia et ejus jure vel casibus
(1632; Eng. transl., Conscience, 1639), an ethical treatise which was
really a continuation of the old scholastic casuistry.
A collected edition of his Latin works, with life by
M. Nethenus, was published in five volumes at
Amsterdam in 1658.