William Perkins: Two Kingdoms As The Answer To Monasticism

This serves to decry unto us the blind error of many ages before us, wherein it has been thought, and is by Papists at this day, to be a state of perfection, to live as a monk or hermit out of all societies, in some desert place, and there to spend their whole life in contemplation only, and that voluntarily. They magnify this estate so much, that hereby they think to merit eternal life at the hands of God. But these believers did neither voluntarily, nor with opinion of merit, betake themselves to this solitary life, but on necessity. Indeed, this [monastic] kind of life has no warrant in God’s word because every Christian is a member of two Kingdoms; of Christ’s Kingdom of grace and of that particular state where he dwells. By reason of this dual membership, he has has a twofold calling: temporal and spiritual. In both of which he must walk diligently so long as he can doing the duties both of a child of God and of a member of that commonwealth where he lives. Now, when a man goes voluntarily to lead a solitary life, he forsakes his temporal calling altogether and performs the other but negligently because he withdraws himself from many duties of piety, whereby the people might be furthered Godward, which none can do with a good conscience.

A Cloud of Faithful Witnesses Leading to the Heavenly Canaan or A Commentary Upon Hebrews Chapter 11 (Cambridge, 1607, 1618), 195.


Heidelberg Reformation Association
1637 E. Valley Parkway #391
Escondido CA 92027
The HRA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

    Post authored by:

  • Heidelblog
    Author Image

    The Heidelblog has been in publication since 2007. It is devoted to recovering the Reformed confession and to helping others discover Reformed theology, piety, and practice.

    More by Heidelblog ›

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!