The very word, Puritan conjures up images of stern old preachers in my brain and then this picture of Thomas Brooks confirmed my opinions, until I read on and read some of the things he wrote. I was introduced to this man by a pastor who had been suffering with an ailment that was slowly taking away his ability to speak. Not a good thing for a pastor. He had this quote from Thomas Brooks:
“I am afflicted says the humble soul, but it is mercy I am not destroyed. Though I have fallen into a pit, it is free grace that I have not fallen into hell. God is too just to wrong me, and too gracious to harm me, and therefore I will be still and quiet; let him do what he will with me.”
That is a profound statement that flies in the face of the “ME” generation. But our God is just and gracious and trust worthy. By His nature, simply cannot harm or wrong us. That is who He is and why we follow Him. This brought me to find out more about Brooks.
Thomas Brooks was a preacher in the mid 1600’s. Stuffy and strict he was not! He was a preacher who preached truth and, to the dismay of those who made the rules in England, continually fought against rules that were not Biblical. He lost his license to preach twice in the 1670’s. Despite the legal battles over his license, Brooks continued to preach and minister throughout London with little persecution. When the Great Plague hit London in 1665, he, unlike many other ministers, remained in the city to care for the saints.
Charles H. Spurgeon wrote a book called, “Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks” in 1859. In the preface he wrote:
“Had Brooks been a worldly man, his writings would have been most valuable; but since he was an eminent Christian, they are doubly so. He had the eagle eye of faith, as well as the eagle wing of imagination. He saw similes, metaphors, and allegories everywhere; but they were all consecrated to his Master’s service.”
The pastor who had been suffering with the ailment and was willing to “Be still and quiet and let God do what He will with me” found out during the retreat that he has been mis-diagnosed and now had great hope that his speech loss would be treatable and what loss he had could be recovered. What good news! What hope! And what a God we serve. I love bows at the end of stories and this was a very grand and beautiful bow!