St. Amour, William De

, doctor of the Sorbonne, and one of the greatest ornaments of Christianity which appeared in the Romish communion in the thirteenth century, had his name from St. Amour in Franche Compte, where he was born about the commencement of that century. The zeal which he showed against the new institution of mendicant friars, both in his sermons, and as theological professor, induced the university of Paris to make choice of him to defend their interests against the Dominicans and Franciscans, who wished to engross the power and | influence of the university to themselves. In 1255, the debate was brought before the pope Alexander IV. who, with intolerable arrogance, ordered the university not only to restore the Dominicans to their former station, but also to grant them as many professorships as they should require. The magistrates of Paris, at first, were disposed to protect the university; but the terror of the papal edicts reduced them at length to silence; and not only the Dominicans, but also the Franciscans, assumed whatever power they pleased in that famous seminary, and knew no other restrictions than what the pope imposed upon them. St. Amour, however, wrote several treatises against the mendicant orders, and particularly, in 1255, or 1256, his famous book, “Perils des derniers temps,” concerning the “perils of the latter days,” in which he maintained that St. Paul’s prophecy of the latter times (2 Tim. iii. 1.) was fulfilling in the abominations of the* friars, and laid down thirty-nine marks of false teachers.

Some years before the pope had decided in favour of the mendicants, a fanatical book under the title of an “Introduction to the Everlasting Gospel” was published by a Franciscan, who exalted St. Francis above Jesus Christ, and arrogated to his order the glory of reforming mankind by a new gospel. The universal ferment, excited by this impious book, obliged Alexander IV. to suppress it, but he ordered it to be burnt in secret, being willing to spare the reputation of the mendicants. The university of Paris, however, insisted upon a public condemnation of the book; and Alexander, great as he was in power, was obliged to submit. He then took revenge by condemning St. Amour’s work to be burnt, and the author to be banished from France. St. Amour retired to his native place, and was not permitted to return to Paris until the pontificate of Clement IV. He died at Paris in 1272. His works were published there in 1632, 4to. He was a man of learning and correct manners, of great zeal, and, in the opinion of a late writer, wanted only a more favourable soil, in which he might bring to maturity the fruits of those protestant principles, the seeds of which he nourished in his breast. 1

1 Biog. Univ. art. Amour. Milner’s Eccl. Hist. vol. IV. p. 20. Dupin. Mosheim.