The knowledgeable heretic, Dr. Curt Daniel writes concerning William Ames:
"William Ames (1576-1633). Anglican, then Presbyterian. Ministered in England as
Cambridge Calvinist and in Holland as pastor and professor and advisor at the
Synod of Dort. Closest disciple of William Perkins. Greatly influenced American
Puritans. Wrote The Marrow of Theolgy
, the standard Puritan systematic
theology; and Cases of Conscience, important work on Biblical ethics;
Here is Puritan heretic William Ames revealing why Romans 11:6 is such an important passage in discerning salvation conditioned on the sinner's efforts versus salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone -- His atoning blood and imputed righteousness:
"13. The new covenant differs from the old in many ways....19.
Seventh, in the conditions, for the old required perfect obedience of
works to be performed by man of his own strength prior to the carrying
out of the promise, which would then be in the form of a reward. But
the present covenant requires no properly called or prior condition,
but only a following or intermediate condition (and that to be given by
grace as a means to grace), which is the proper nature of faith" (William Ames,
The Marrow of Theology, pp. 150-151).
If so-called "grace" enables a person to fulfill "a following, or intermediate condition" (i.e., a work) "as a means to grace," then "grace is no more grace" (Romans 11:6). And if the word "grace" is prefaced to any number of works, conditions, prerequisites, running, or willing (cf. Romans 9:16), then there would be no such concept as salvation by the works of man since all of this condition-meeting would supposedly be "all of grace."
If consistent, Ames must say that "to him that worketh is the reward NOT reckoned of debt, but of grace" since this working was "given by grace as a means to grace" (blatantly contrary to Romans 4:4 of course).