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The Labors of a Godly and Learned Divine, William Perkins: Including Previously Unpublished Sermons (Payne & Yuille)

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Reformation Heritage Books
January 2023

Collecting material from five different manuscript sources, Matthew N. Payne and J. Stephen Yuille present sermon material from William Perkins that helps us understand how his original listeners heard the grand preacher. Viewing the transcribed sermons enlightens us to the editorial process that eventually turned Perkins’s homilies into published books and commentaries. Yet this collection also contains sermons that never turned into published books, opening up a new window into some of Perkins’s thoughts that has been inaccessible for hundreds of years. Taken as a companion to The Works of William Perkins, this volume is indispensable for all who wish to grasp the ministry of one of England’s greatest practical theologians.


Table of Contents:


Overview of Documents

Master Perkins’s Prayer before His Sermons

1. Publishing Perkins’s Works

2. Robert Hill Transcription

3. Senate House Commonplace Book

4. Laurence Chaderton Manuscript

5. James Tomlin Manuscript

6. The Hutton Manuscript

7. Funeral Sermon for William Perkins

Appendix 1: Regarding Perkins upon the Lord’s Prayer, 1592

Appendix 2: Perkins’s Sermons on Jude 3–4 (Three Sources Compared)

Appendix 3: Catalogue of Editions of Perkins’s Works



J. Stephen Yuille is professor of pastoral theology and spiritual formation, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Matthew N. Payne is a PhD candidate doing research at the University of Sydney



“William Perkins was known in his own time not only as a significant theologian but also as a powerful preacher. Until now, however, Perkins’s preaching has not been accessible except in the form of commentaries and treatises posthumously edited for publication. Matthew Payne and Stephen Yuille provide a transcription of Perkins’s unpublished sermons, some of which were edited and published, others never before published. Taken together with their perspicuous introduction on the posthumous collecting and editing of Perkins’s works for publication, this volume opens a highly significant new door to Perkins studies and to the kind of editorial work that went into the posthumous editions of Perkins’s works.” —Richard A. Muller, senior fellow, Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research

“Many people are familiar with William Perkins the theologian, but how many know Perkins the preacher? Matthew Payne and Stephen Yuille have mined the archives and produced a trove of long-lost sermons by the eminent Puritan divine. Payne and Yuille expertly introduce these gems and present them so that we too can profit from one of sixteenth-century England’s greatest theologians and preachers.” —J. V. Fesko, Harriet Barbour Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi

“Payne and Yuille have provided a valuable service for those who study William Perkins (1558–1602). The authors have uncovered new documents, manuscripts, and sermons; made new translations; and have expanded our understanding of the great English theologian by supplementing the published sources that have been read for centuries. This volume is an excellent and important complement to the recent new edition of Perkins’s Works. Now we can gain an even fuller picture of the thought and work of this key theologian who was so important to English and American Puritans and who produced a sturdy Reformed theology that endures, joining doctrine and life to the glory of God!” —Donald K. McKim, author of Ramism in William Perkins’ Theology and Everyday Prayer with the Puritans