We don’t know much about the Puritan writer and preacher, Thomas Brooks. But we do know he wrote a lot. His Complete Works comprise nearly 3,200 pages of sermons, treatises, lectures, and theological explanations.
Brooks was born in 1608, began studying at Cambridge in 1625, and was preaching as a licensed minister by 1640. He also ministered as a sea chaplain, and preached at the House of Commons in 1648.
Thomas Brooks ministered and preached at two London churches: St. Thomas Apostle, and St. Margaret’s at Fish-street Hill. The great 1666 London fire destroyed both. Neither were rebuilt. Monuments to the two Anglican churches stand today at their former locations.
His 1670 work, London’s Lamentations, is a long dissertation about the terrible fire. Brooks did not waver from his view that the disaster was God’s judgment against the city.
Thomas Brooks’ writings
His other writings span a wide range of subjects both deep and practical. Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod explains the purpose of affliction and suffering in the believer’s life. Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices shows how to recognize the devil’s influences and prepare for them.
Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks, clearly a play on the author’s name, is Charles Spurgeon’s collection of the Puritan’s choicest sayings and advice. Of Brooks’ matchless writing ability Spurgeon commented:
One of these pithy extracts may assist our meditations for a whole day, and may open up some sweet passage of Scripture to our understandings, and perhaps some brief sentence may stick in the sinner’s conscience, like an arrow from the bow of God.
Brooks’ magisterial The Crown and Glory of Christianity centers on holiness in the believers’ life, the subject so dear to Puritan writers across generations.
Thomas Brooks is definitely a writer to contend with. But peek behind the lofty thoughts and rich language, and you’ll find an author with a tender heart and goodwill toward the reader.
Read Brooks with us
We invite you to read Precious Remedies along with us, and follow our blog post and podcast series on each book section. We recommend this annotated Kindle edition of the book, which is often priced at only 99 cents.
As you read, come back and check out our blog posts. Feel free to leave comments on your experiences.