The Works of William Perkins, Volume 5 - eBook
Author: William Perkins
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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 fifth volume begins the doctrinal treatises of Perkins with three contributions of catechetical theology. The first treatise is An Exposition of the Symbol or Apostles’ Creed. Examining the contours of Christian faith, Perkins handles each article of the Creed according to its basic meaning, the duties it calls us to, and the consolation it brings. He closes the entire work by explaining how the Creed is a “storehouse of remedies against all troubles and temptations whatsoever.”
The second treatise is An Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer. Detailing the chief Christian desires, Perkins explains the meaning of the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer and the “manifold uses” for each. Perkins closes his exposition with the proper uses of the Lord’s Prayer in general, the circumstances related to the way we pray, and a word on God hearing our prayers. This treatise also includes a collection of prayers (with short explanations) from the Bible and a poetic song “gathered out of the Psalms, containing the sobs and sighs of all repentant sinners.”
The third treatise is The Foundation of Christian Religion Gathered into Six Principles, which sets down the principle points of Christian religion in order to establish readers in true knowledge, unfeigned faith, and sound repentance. Providing a rudimentary understanding of the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the two sacraments, Perkins’s Foundation sets a framework for people to profit more from sermons and to receive the Lord’s Supper with comfort.
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