13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
So who is William Ames? – For me, he is someone new, but he was an important English Puritan theologian who lived in the Netherlands. I agree with his view of manmade holy days and was struck by his quote of Martin Bucer, the Strasbourg Reformer. Solid!
One of Ames’s sermons became historical in the Puritan controversies. It was delivered in the university Church of St Mary the Great, Cambridge on 21 December 1609, and in it he rebuked sharply ‘lusory lotts’ and the ‘heathenish debauchery’ of the students during the Twelve Days of Christmas. ~ Wikipedia
[To adopt a lusory attitude is to accept the arbitrary rules of a game in order to facilitate the resulting experience of play. ~ Wikipedia]
by Kevin Reed
William Ames (1576-1633), the prominent English Puritan who lived on the Continent among the Dutch for many years, sums up several fundamental principles relating to proper worship:
“No instituted worship is lawful unless God is its author and ordainer. Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 12:32.”
“The most solemn time for worship is now the first day of each week, called the Lord’s Day, Revelation 1:10; 1 Corinthians 16:2.”
“Opposed to the ordinance of the Lord’s Day are all feast days ordained by men when they are considered holy days like the Lord’s Day.”
Shortly before his death, Ames prepared a massive volume, A Fresh Suit Against Human Ceremonies in God’s Worship (1633). This book was written as a response to earlier publications by John Morton and John Burgess. Throughout his work, Ames provides a detailed rebuttal of many of the Episcopal arguments related to church polity.
In one place, Ames speaks of the scriptural law of worship. Referring to Leviticus 10:1, he states:
“The sons of Aaron are there condemned for bringing strange, or ordinary fire to God’s worship; as doing that which God had not commanded, and yet had not otherwise forbidden, than by providing fire proper to his worship, and not appointing any other to be used in the tabernacle. And this is the very plea which we make against ceremonies of human institution, in God’s worship.”
Then he notes Jeremiah 7:31, and comments:
“Seeing God under this title only condemns that which the Jews did because he had not commanded it [to] them; therefore no other reason need to be sought for the confutation of superstitions, than that they are not by commandment from God.”
In a separate section “Concerning the Lord’s Day, Temples, and Ceremonial Festivals,” Ames states:
“Concerning ceremonial festivals, of man’s making, our practice cannot be objected; because we observe none.”
I would to God that every holy day whatsoever besides the Lord’s day were abolished. That zeal which brought them first in, was without all warrant of the word, and merely followed corrupt reason, forsooth to drive out the holy days of the pagans, as one nail drives out another. Those holy days have been so tainted with superstitions that I wonder we tremble not at their very names.