“As a writer, Brooks scatters stars with both his hands: he hath dust of gold; in his storehouse are all manner of precious stones.”
So wrote C. H. Spurgeon, who counted Thomas Brooks among his favorite Puritan authors. Brooks’ popularity lies both in his subjects—practical truths central to the Christian life—and in the manner of his presentation. He is direct, urgent, fervent, full of scripture, and able to choose words which make his sentences stick in one’s mind.
Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks is a collection of sentences and quaint sayings from this renowned Puritan. Gathered by Spurgeon from the six-volume set of Brooks’ Works, it remains an excellent introduction to both the man and his writing.
Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1625. He was licensed as a preacher of the gospel by 1640. After the Civil War, Brooks became minister at Thomas Apostle’s, London, and was sufficiently renowned to be chosen as preacher before the House of Commons in 1648. In 1662 he fell victim to the notorious Act of Uniformity, but he appears to have remained in his parish and to have preached the Word as opportunity offered. He went home to the Lord in 1680.