The Works of William Perkins, Volume 1

Yuille, J. Stephen

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Read a Tim Challies post on The History of Christianity in 25 Objects: The Works of William Perkins and The Puritans: William Perkins

The present volume contains three of Perkins’s treatises. The first is A Digest or Harmony of the Books of the Old and New Testament, which offers a synopsis of the Bible that relates sacred history to the chronology of the world. Dating God’s creation of the universe in 3967 BC, Perkins develops his overview of redemptive history that culminates in the final judgment.

The second treatise is The Combat between Christ and the Devil Displayed. Expounding Matthew 4:1–11, Perkins shows how Christ’s temptation in the wilderness (1) set Jesus up to serve as the second Adam, overcoming Satan’s temptation in a way the first Adam did not; (2) reveals how the devil assaults the church so that we might be better prepared to resist his temptations; and (3) equipped Christ to be a sympathetic high priest to those who are tempted.

The third and most significant treatise is A Godly and Learned Exposition upon Christ’s Sermon in the Mount. “Hereof I have chosen to entreat,” says Perkins, “because it is a most divine and learned sermon, and may not unfitly be called the ‘Key to the whole Bible’; for here Christ opens the sum of the Old and New Testaments.” The fact that Perkins saw the Sermon on the Mount as unlocking the meaning of Scripture in its entirety suggests that his understanding of what Christ declares in Matthew 5–7 was pivotal to the development of his theology and piety.

Books at a Glance

Read an author interview from Books at a Glance Part One and Part Two

About the Series

Reformation Heritage Books is excited to announce the publication of the inaugural volume of a projected ten volume set of The Works of William Perkins, often called “the father of Puritanism.” Can you imagine studying the Reformation without having access to John Calvin’s Institutes and commentaries? We believe that the printing of Perkins’s Works in modern print will revolutionize and transform Puritan studies, and be a great blessing to the church of Jesus Christ around the world.

Though Perkins is best known today for his writings on predestination he also wrote prolifically on many subjects. His Works filled over two thousand large pages of small print in three folio volumes, and were reprinted several times in the decades after his death. However, the complete Works have not been in print since the early seventeenth century. This modern typeset edition of the Works includes four volumes of Perkin’s expositions of Scripture, three volumes of his doctrinal and polemical treatises, and three volumes of his practical writings.

The first volume contains a masterful treatment of the Sermon on the Mount and an enlightening exposition of Christ being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Scholars, ministers, and lay people will all profit greatly from reading this great Puritan writer.

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