What does a pastor (or aspiring pastor) read for personal edification? Well, if you follow the advice of C. S. Lewis, you’ll be making sure that at least some of your edifying reading comes from older writers. Most of my favourite older writers are Puritans. Those godly Reformed men blended great learning with passion and commitment to Christ. My friend Chris Gordon is big on William Perkins (1558-1602), often regarded as the first of the English Puritans. So last week I was at Reformed Book Services in nearby Brantford and I picked up Perkin’s The Art of Prophesying. It’s published in the Puritan Paperbacks series put out by Banner of Truth and includes another little work by Perkins, The Calling of the Ministry. This edition has been revised by Sinclair Ferguson and is very readable. The Art of Prophesying is a little homiletics handbook. The Calling of the Ministry features expositions of two passages (Job 33:23-24 and Isaiah 6:5-9) with an eye to the bearing of these passages on pastoral ministry. This is an excellent little book — unfortunately, I don’t think the text of the book is available online. Of course, you can purchase it from the usual sorts of online retailers.