Reformation Heritage Books
The Works of William Perkins Volume 8
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 eighth volume includes five treatises meant to promote a good conscience before God. A Discourse of Conscience establishes a framework for understanding the importance of conscience and how it functions. The Whole Treatise of the Cases of Conscience is an extensive treatment of casuistry that treats man in his three principle conditions (by himself, in relation to God, and in relation to others). A Treatise Tending unto a Declaration whether a Man Is in the Estate of Damnation or in the Estate of Grace distinguishes between true and false professors, demonstrates how Roman Catholicism falls short of assurance, and highlights the devil’s attempts to sully the consciences of God’s people. A Case of Conscience gives full attention to the importance of personal assurance of salvation. A Grain of Mustard Seed provides consolation to weak Christians by encouraging them to recognize and grow in gratitude for the grace they have. There is much in the present volume to commend to the reader, but what clearly stands out is Perkins’s skill as a spiritual advisor.
Table of Contents:
Preface to Volume 8
A Discourse of Conscience
The First Book of the Cases of Conscience
The Second Book of the Cases of Conscience
The Third Book of the Cases of Conscience
A Treatise Tending unto a Declaration whether a Man is in the
Estate of Damnation or in the Estate of Grace
The Whole Treatise of the Cases of Conscience
A Grain of Mustard Seed
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.