1.30.2009

Meet My Good Friend Perkins

My favorite Puritan to read is William Perkins (1558-1602). I am very blessed to own a set of his works from the 17th century. Perkins was known as the father of the Elizabethan Puritan movement and his works far outsold Calvin's. Unfortunately, Perkins works have not been reprinted in over 350 years--and I have no idea as to why. I know Joel Beeke is working on remedying this, but the project is years in the making. Periodically, I will write on Perkins and share some of the gems I come across.

For now, here is something Perkins said that answers quite well our present-day justification controversy .

The doctrine which we teach on the contrary is that a sinner is justified before God by faith, yes, by faith alone. The meaning is, that nothing within man, and nothing that man can do, either by nature, or by grace, concurs to the act of justification before God, as an cause thereof, either efficient, material, formal, or final, but faith alone. All other gifts and graces, as hope, love, the fear of God, are necessary to salvation, as signs thereof and consequents of faith. Nothing in any man concurs as any cause to this work but faith alone. And faith itself is no principal, but only an instrumental cause whereby we receive apprehend, and apply Christ and his righteousness for our justification.

6 comments:

  1. I have his works on CD, but wish I had a real set!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I recently donated a set to the seminary, they might let you check them out--if you can wrestle them away from Scott Clark.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is that *your* copy from the picture? Oh, Chris, now I'm green... But, hey, you know the Bible teaches that you're not supposed to set up stumbling blocks for the less spiritually mature!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, but I sold this pictured set to one of the Beeke brothers. My set is ex libris from the Pusey House Library--quite nice. If you look at my folios pic, you will see it there. Sorry for adding another stumbling block, but you asked!

    ReplyDelete
  5. what about giving a loving shove to Banner of Truth to see if they would begin to publish Perkins - or had any future plans to publish - I would love to have some Perkins in my disposable paper back Puritan library ( as opposed to the four hundred year old volumes ) ahhh the smell of ancient tomes - how I love them so

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Mike, Banner has been approached about this, but they haven't moved on it for some reason or another. Give it a little time and I am sure Reformation Heritage will publish Perkins. And yes, these Tomes smell of a good cigar!

    ReplyDelete