The Marrow of Theology (Ames)

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Baker Academic

William Ames' classic summary of seventeenth-century Puritan theology is once again available in its only modern English translation. Ames was one of the most influential theologians of his day, particularly among New England Puritans such as John Cotton and Thomas Hooker. He was, in fact, planning to travel to America at the time of his death. These lectures were first presented to students in Leyden in the 1620s, and their reissue will be of great interest to contemporary students of Puritanism.

The Marrow of Theology is composed of two books. The first summarizes the Puritan understanding of the traditional doctrinal elements of systematic theology. The second covers the more practical matters of the Christian life. Combined with John Dykstra Eusden's excellent introductory study of Puritan theological method, this volume provides an indispensible tool for the study of Puritanism and its influence on later theology.

Table of Contents:

Book One

1. The Definition or Nature of Theology

2. The Division or Parts of Theology

3. Faith

4. God and His Essence

5. The Subsistence of God

6. The Efficiency of God

7. The Decree and Counsel of God

8. Creation

9. Providence

10. Special Government of Intelligent Creatures

11. Man’s Apostasy or Fall

12. The Consequences of Sin

13. Original Sin

14. Actual Sin

15. Bodily Death

16. The Consummation of Death

17. The Propagation of Sin

18. The Person of Christ, the Mediator

19. The Office of Christ

20. Satisfaction

21. The Life of the Humiliated Christ

22. The Death of Christ

23. The Exaltation of Christ

24. The Application of Christ

25. Predestination

26. Calling

27. Justification

28. Adoption

29. Sanctification

30. Glorification

31. The Church Mystically Considered

32. The Church Instituted

33. The Extraordinary Ministers of the Church

34. Holy Scripture

35. Ordinary Ministers and Their Office in Preaching

36. The Sacraments

37. Ecclesiastical Discipline

38. The Administration of the Covenant of Grace before the Coming of Christ

39. The Administration of the Covenant from the Coming of Christ to the End of the World

40. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

41. The End of the World

Book Two

1. Observance in General

2. Virtue

3. Good Works

4. Religion

5. Faith

6. Hope

7. Charity or Love

8. The Hearing of the Word

9. Prayer

10. Taking Oaths

11. Lots

12. Testing God

13. Instituted Worship

14. The Manner of Divine Worship

15. The Time of Worship

16. Justice and Charity toward Our Neighbor

17. The Honor of Our Neighbor

18. Humanity toward Our Neighbor

19. Chastity

20. Commutative Justice

21. Telling the Truth

22. Contentment



William Ames (1576-1633) was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, where William Perkins was his tutor. He attended the Synod of Dort as an English observer and there began to develop his reputation as a brilliant theologian. From 1622, he was professor of theology at the University of Franeker in Holland, where he attracted students from all over Protestant Europe.



"In this work we not only learn much about Puritanism in old England and new, but we can analyze a stream of Christian life and thought that has to some degree helped to shape many of us, our contemporaries, and our institutions." - Robert Handy, Union Seminary Quarterly Review