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William Ames

1576-1633. Puritan theologian. Educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he was tutored and greatly influenced by W. Perkins,* he was suspended for a sermon attacking card-playing and for refusing to wear the surplice, and prevented from seeking a pastorate at Colchester by the bishop of London. He became chaplain to Sir H. Vere, English governor of Brill in Holland. After attending the Synod of Dort*-where his theological acumen became apparent-as an English observer, he became professor of theology at Franeker in 1622 and rector in 1626. Ill health led to his retirement, and he died within a year. His great reputation as a theologian and marked ability as a teacher attracted students from all over Europe, but in contemporary opinion his genius was better adapted to the professor's chair than to the pulpit. A considerable controversialist, against Anglicanism (Fresh Suit against Roman Ceremonies), Arminianism (Medulla Theologiae), and Remonstrants (Animadversiones in Synodalia), he was also a careful casuist. His De Conscientia, eius Iure et Casibus was one of the first systematic Protestant attempts to clarify general principles.

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