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The Works of William Perkins

Reformation Heritage Books just released the tenth and final volume of The Works of William Perkins! Here at Credo, we wanted to highlight the completion of the Perkins’s set. Below is a description from Reformation Heritage Books.


The Works of William Perkins fills a major gap in Reformed and Puritan theology. 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. His complete works, however, have not been in print since the mid-seventeenth century. This modern typeset edition of the Works includes four volumes of Perkins’s expositions of Scripture, three volumes of his doctrinal and polemical treatises, and three volumes of his practical writings.

This tenth volume brings together seven treatises that demonstrate Perkins’s core conviction that the gospel touches all of life by bringing it under the rule of Scripture. How to Live, and That Well opens the volume with a description of the reign of faith in Christians’ hearts so that they avoid sin and pursue the will of God in all they do. A Treatise on the Vocations explains how God calls Christians to live out their faith in whatever responsibilities they hold within society. Christian Oeconomie applies the concept of vocation to life in the home, showing the right manner of establishing and ordering a family according to the Scriptures. The Calling of the Ministry applies vocation to the church, describing the duties and dignities of the ministers of Christ. The Art of Prophesying equips those called to the ministry with the proper manner and method of preaching God’s Word. A Treatise of Christian Equity and Moderation exhorts Christians to maintain justice and preserve peace, whether in families, church, or the greater commonwealth. Having finished with principles of living by faith, the volume ends with A Salve for a Sick Man, which discusses the importance of faith in dying well.

This tenth volume brings together seven treatises that demonstrate Perkins’s core conviction that the gospel touches all of life by bringing it under the rule of Scripture. Treatise on How to Live Well in All Estates opens the volume with a description of the reign of faith in Christians’ hearts so that they avoid sin and pursue the will of God in all they do. Treatise on Vocations explains how God calls Christians to live out their faith in whatever responsibilities they hold within society. Right Manner of Erecting and Ordering a Family applies the concept of vocation to life in the home. Calling of the Ministry applies vocation to the church, describing the duties and dignities of the ministers of Christ. Art of Prophesying equips those called to the ministry with the proper manner and method of preaching God’s Word. Christian Equity exhorts Christians to maintain justice and preserve peace, whether in families, church, or the greater commonwealth. Having finished with principles of living by faith, the volume ends with Treatise on Dying Well, which discusses the importance of faith at the end of life.

Contents of Volume 10:                                                                     

  • Treatise on How to Live Well in All Estates
  • Treatise on Vocations
  • Right Manner of Erecting and Ordering a Family
  • Calling of the Ministry
  • Manner and Method of Preaching
  • Christian Equity
  • Treatise on Dying Well

About the Author:
William Perkins (1558–1602) earned a bachelor’s degree in 1581 and a master’s degree in 1584 from Christ’s College in Cambridge. During those student years he joined up with Laurence Chaderton, who became his personal tutor and lifelong friend. Perkins and Chaderton met with Richard Greenham, Richard Rogers, and others in a spiritual brotherhood at Cambridge that espoused Puritan convictions.

From 1584 until his death, Perkins served as lecturer, or preacher, at Great St. Andrew’s Church, Cambridge, a most influential pulpit across the street from Christ’s College. He also served as a teaching fellow at Christ’s College, catechized students at Corpus Christi College on Thursday afternoons, and worked as a spiritual counselor on Sunday afternoons. In these roles Perkins influenced a generation of young students, including Richard Sibbes, John Cotton, John Preston, and William Ames. Thomas Goodwin wrote that when he entered Cambridge, six of his instructors who had sat under Perkins were still passing on his teaching. Ten years after Perkins’s death, Cambridge was still “filled with the discourse of the power of Mr. William Perkins’ ministry,” Goodwin said.

Perkins’s influence as a theologian continued unabated after his death. This was due in large part to the widespread popularity of his writings. His writings were translated into several European languages and greatly influenced British and American Reformed theology, the Dutch Further Reformation, and European Pietism.

About the Editors:

Joseph A. Pipa is president and professor of systematic and homiletical theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

J. Stephen Yuille is the vice president of academics at Heritage College & Seminary, Cambridge, Ontario. He also serves as associate professor of biblical spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

Joel R. Beeke is president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Derek W. H. Thomas is senior minister of First Presbyterian in Columbia, South Carolina, and the Robert Strong Professor of Systematic Theology and Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia.

Joseph Lanier

Joseph Lanier is a PhD student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a pastoral resident associate at Emmaus Church in Kansas City. He is joyfully married to Kristen.

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