The wholesome doctrine of the Gospel
Faith and Love in the writings of William Perkins
Edited by Andrew S Ballitch & J Stephen Yuille
Perkins is number 2 after Calvin. However not everyone can afford the works of Perkins currently being reprinted. Here is a distillation of Perkins in 140 pages that will surely make every reader salivate for more.
There is an excellent introduction on the piety of Perkins. An Anglican who is rightly called the father of Puritanism, Perkins was first and foremost Protestant and Reformed in belief and theology. He became the model that others strove to be because he exemplified a true Christian and a sound minister.
There are two sections- Faith and Love.
Faith: Grounds of Doctrine to be Believed.
Here there 21 sections covering Scripture (certainty and sufficiency); God (holiness, excellency, Triune, Sovereign, mercy); Christ; Creation; Fall; Faith; Justification etc
Love: Grounds of Doctrine to be Practiced
Here we have such subjects as Repentance; self-denial; fleeing idolatry; Worshipping God; cultivating virtue; pursuing our calling etc.
Each chapter is taken from specific works by Perkins which is referred to in the footnotes.
Choice and judicious selections have been made from a range of Perkins works. There is nothing dry or arid in these quotations but pure simple Biblical teaching. In addition, every
chapter is essentially an exposition of a text. Take as an example – the Supremacy of Christ (Ch8). Using Rev 1:8 Perkins notes that Christ is said to be the beginning for two causes. First, He was the first of all things. There was nothing before Him. He had a being when all creatures were not. Second, He is called the beginning because He gives a beginning to all creatures.
Christ is also the ending , for two causes. First, He is the last of all things and after him is nothing subsisting and being, for all creatures, if they were left to themselves, would come to nothing. Second, He is the end because all things in heaven and earth were made to serve Him.
Everything then that Perkins writes is simple yet wonderful.
As an added bonus they have included the famous chart from the Golden Chain which is astonishingly Christ centred. It is a ‘‘visual catechism’.
A work (booklet) like this is worth buying twice. A copy for yourself and one to give to another to refresh, energise and delight, in spiritual things.
Rev E T. Kirkland.