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 is also known to have ministered as a sea chaplain, and preached at the House of Commons in 1648.
The two churches with which he was closely associated were St. Thomas Apostle of London, and St. Margaret’s, at Fish-street Hill, also in London. Both were destroyed in the great 1666 London fire, and neither rebuilt. There are monuments to the two Anglican churches 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.
But his other writings spanned 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 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.