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. However, his complete works 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. 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.
'The Works of William Perkins is a veritable treasure of sixteenth-century Protestant orthodoxy and Reformed piety. In the first reprint of Perkins's works in almost four hundred years, RHB has given the church an immeasurable gift that will keep on giving for centuries to come!' -- Jon D. Payne, senior minister, Christ Church Presbyterian (PCA), Charleston, South Carolina, and author of John Owen on the Lord's Supper
'There was no more important leader in the Puritan movement than William Perkins. To see his works reprinted in a reader-friendly format and with state-of-the-art critical apparatus as a bonus seems too good to be true. This project is a landmark event for both Reformation scholarship and the spiritual edification of Christians.' -- Leland Ryken, author of Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were
'Without a doubt, the Puritans were theological titans. The Puritan theological tradition did not emerge out of a vacuum. It was shaped by leaders and theologians who set the trajectory of the movement and shaped its commitments. William Perkins was one of those men. Perkins's contribution to Puritan theology is inestimable, and this new reprint of his collected works is a much-awaited addition to all who are still shaped and influenced by the Puritans and their commitment to the centrality of the grace of God found only in Jesus Christ. Even now, every true gospel minister stands in debt to Perkins, and in his shadow.' -- R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
'Sixty years ago, hardly any Puritan books remained in print. Now, in the kindness of God and through the diligent labors of Christian scholars, we have a veritable feat of Puritan reprints to consume and enjoy. Unfortunately, the complete works of William Perkins, a foundational leader in early English Reformed orthodoxy, has not been reprinted in 379 years. Thanks to Joel Beeke, Reformation Heritage Books, and several fine editors, this is no longer the case. They have produced a new standard edition of Perkins's works, which I trust will be profitably used and enjoyed until the return of Christ.' -- Justin Taylor