Written by Thomas Brooks. Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley.
A humble soul doth highly prize the least of Christ.
The Canaanite woman in the fifteenth of Matthew sets a high price upon a crumb of mercy. Ah, Lord, says the humble soul, if I may not have a loaf of mercy, give me a piece of mercy; if not a piece of mercy, give me a crumb of mercy. If I may not have sun-light, let me have moon-light; if not moon-light, let me have star-light; if not star-light, let me have candle-light; and for that I will bless thee.
In the time of the law, the meanest things that were consecrated were very highly prized, such as leather or wood, if it was in the tabernacle.
A humble soul looks upon all the things of God as consecrated things. Every truth of God is a consecrated truth; it is consecrated to holy use, and this causes the soul highly to prize it; and so every smile of God, and every discovery of God, and every drop of mercy from God, is very highly prized by a soul that walks humbly with God. The name of Christ, the voice of Christ, the footsteps of Christ, the least touch of the garment of Christ, the least-regarded truth of Christ, the meanest and least-regarded among the flock of Christ, is highly prized by humble souls that are interested in Christ, Song 1: 3; John 10: 4, 5; Ps. 27: 4; Mat. 9. 20, 21; Acts 24. 14; 1 Cor. 9. 22.
A humble soul cannot, and humble soul dares not, call anything little that has Christ in it; neither can a humble soul call or count anything great wherein he sees not Christ, wherein he enjoys not Christ. A humble soul highly prizes the least nod, the least love-token, the least courtesy from Christ; but proud hearts count great mercies small mercies, and small mercies no mercies ; yea, pride does so unman them, that they often call mercy, a misery.
From The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. III, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ”
Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage: Thomas Brooks (1608–1680) was an English non-conformist Puritan preacher and author. Much of what is known about Thomas Brooks has been ascertained from his writings. Born, likely to well-to-do parents, in 1608, Brooks entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1625, where he was preceded by such men as Thomas Hooker, John Cotton, and Thomas Shepard. He was licensed as a preacher of the Gospel by 1640. Before that date, he appears to have spent a number of years at sea, probably as a chaplain with the fleet.
After the conclusion of the First English Civil War, Thomas Brooks became minister at Thomas Apostle’s, London, and was sufficiently renowned to be chosen as preacher before the House of Commons on December 26, 1648. His sermon was afterwards published under the title, ‘God’s Delight in the Progress of the Upright’, the text being Psalm 44:18: ‘Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from Thy way’. Three or four years afterwards, he transferred to St. Margaret’s, Fish-street Hill, London.
As a writer C. H. Spurgeon said of him, ‘Brooks scatters stars with both hands, with an eagle eye of faith as well as the eagle eye of imagination’. In 1662, he fell victim to the notorious Act of Uniformity, but he appears to have remained in his parish and to have preached as opportunity arose. Treatises continued to flow from his pen.