Perkins: Civil Righteousness Will Not Do

[S]uch persons as live an honest and civil life, and stand upon this, that they are no thieves, no murderers, no adulterers, no blasphemers, but in outward duties show love to God and man, they must I say, take heed lest they deceive themselves, building upon false grounds. For though civil honesty is a thing commendable before men, yet it is not sufficient to save us before God. And Paul, who was a straight observer of the law, after he came to the knowledge of Christ, counted all his moral obedience, in which he had formerly trusted, but loss and dung for Christ.

William Perkins (1558–1602), True Gain, in Works 9:33 (HT: Inwoo Lee).

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  • Inwoo Lee
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    Inwoo Lee (BA, UCSD) earned his MA (Historical Theology) in 2020 from Westminster Seminary California and is author of “Righteous Before God: William Perkins’ Doctrine of Justification in Elizabethan England” (MA Thesis, Westminster Seminary California, 2020). He lives in the Great Seoul area, in South Korea with his wife Holly.

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