Reformation Heritage Books
The Works of William Perkins, Volume 1
We are excited to announce the publication 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? 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.
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.