Written by Thomas Brooks (1608–1680). Edited for thought and sense by Michael Pursley.
A humble Soul…
…can never be good enough, can never pray enough, nor hear enough, nor mourn enough, nor believe enough, nor love enough, nor fear enough, nor joy enough, nor repent enough, nor loathe sin enough, nor be humble enough.
Humble Paul looks upon his great all as nothing at all; he forgets those things that are behind, and reaches forth to those things which are before, ‘that if by any means he might attain unto the resurrection of the dead,’ Philip, 3. 11-14; that is, that perfection of holiness which the dead shall attain unto in the morning of the resurrection.
No holiness below that matchless, peerless, spotless, perfect holiness that saints shall have in the glorious day of Christ’s appearing, will satisfy the humble soul. A humble heart is an aspiring heart; he cannot be contented to get up some rounds in Jacob’s ladder, but he must get to the very top of the ladder, to the very top of holiness. A humble heart cannot be satisfied with so much grace as will bring him to glory, with so much of heaven as will keep him from dropping into hell; he is still crying out, Give, Lord, give ; give me more of thyself, more of thy Son, more of thy Spirit; give me more light, more life, more love. Caesar in warlike matters minded more what was to conquer than what was conquered; what was to gain than what was gained. So does a humble soul mind more what he should be than what he is, what is to be done than what is done. Verily heaven is for that man, and that man is for heaven, that sets up for his mark the perfection of holiness.
Poor men are full of desires; they are often a-sighing it out. Oh that we had bread to strengthen us, drink to refresh us, clothes to cover us, friends to visit us, and houses to shelter us, etc.; so souls that are spiritually poor they are often a-sighing it out, Oh that we had more of Christ to strengthen us, more of Christ to refresh us, more of Christ to be a covering and shelter to us, &c. I had rather, says the humble soul, be a poor man and a rich Christian, than a rich man and a poor Christian. Lord, says the humble soul, I had rather do anything, I had rather bear anything, I had rather be anything, than to be a dwarf in grace, Rev. 3. 17, Isa. 65. 5, Luke xviii. 11, 12. Lord, says the humble soul, give me much grace, and then a little gold will serve my turn; give me much of heaven, and little of earth will content me ; give me much of the springs above, and a little of the springs below will satisfy me.
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.