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Significant Scots
Ailes, Alexander


ALES or ALESSE, ALEXANDER, a celebrated theologian of the sixteenth century, was born at Edinburgh, April 23d, 1500. He is first found in the situation of a canon in the cathedral of St Andrews, where he distinguished himself by entering into the fashionable controversy of the day against Luther. His zeal for the Roman Catholic religion was staggered by the martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton; but it is not probable that his doubts would have been carried further, if he had not suffered persecution for the slight degree of scepticism already manifested. Being obliged to fly from St Andrews, he retired to Germany, where he became a thorough convert to the Protestant doctrines. The Reformation in England induced Ales to go to London, in 1535, where he was highly esteemed by Cranmer, Latimer, and Cromwell, who were at that time in favour with the king. Henry regarded him also with favour, and used to call him "his scholar." Upon the fall of Cromwell, he was obliged to return to Germany, where the Electro of Brandenburg appointed him professor of divinity at Frankfort-upon-the-Oder, in 1540. As a reformer, Ales did not always maintain the most orthodox doctrines; hence he was obliged, in 1542, to fly from his chair at Frankfort, and betake himself to Leipsic. He spent the remainder of his life in that city, as professor of divinity, and died in 1565. His works are: - 1, "De necessitate et merito Bonorum Operum, disputatio proposita in celebri academia Leipsica, ad 29 Nov. 1560." 2, "Commentarii in evangelium Joannis, et in utramque epistolam ad Timotheum." 3, "Expositio in Psalmos Davidis." 4, "De Justificatione, contra Oscandrum." 5, "De Sancta Trinitate, cum confutatione erroris Valentini." 6, "Responsio ad triginta et duos articulos theologorum Lovaniensium." The fifth in this list is the most favourable specimen of his abilities.

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