The Works of William Perkins (Vol 8)
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...
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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 adviser.
William Perkins (1558-1602) was an English theologian, and one of the foremost leaders of the Puritan movement during the reign of Elizabeth I. He was born the year that her reign began, and died less than a year before it ended. Perkins was a staunch proponent of Calvinist theology - particularly 'double predestination' - and the five 'solae' of Reformed Protestantism. Sometime in his early life he was made lame, and he had a religious awakening during his twenties while studying at Cambridge University, where he attained his MA in 1584, and was elected a fellow of Christ's College. Though not well known today, Perkins' writings became very popular during his lifetime and immediately after, outselling those of Calvin and other famous reformers. He would exercise a profound influence on many leading Reformed theologians, including Archbishop James Ussher, Richard Sibbes, and Jonathan Edwards.