Tag Archives: Thomas Brooks

Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks

Precious RemediesBrooks, Thomas. Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2000. 256 pp. $9.00. Purchase at Westminster books for less or for Kindle for $0.99.

Introduction

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680), was a Puritan pastor who, along with so many others of his day, wrote and published many books. You can purchase his 6 volume Works here. At the time of writing this review, this is one book in a series of forty-six in the Puritan Paperback series of which Brooks has four. I have reviewed a few other books by Thomas Brooks. You can read those here.

Summary

As with most Puritan books, this work is easily summarized in its title: these are remedies against the devices of satan meant to either keep you in sin or keep you from repenting and trusting in Christ. This work is basically divided into six chapters. The first is the proof of the point in which he shows us the need for this particular book.

The second chapter looks extensively at the devices used to draw us into sin. Here, he presents a dozen such devices and how we can combat against them. Chapter three offers methods in which Satan keeps the believer from his spiritual duties.

The fourth chapter looks to how Satan keeps the believer doubting his salvation though it has been secured by and is kept by Christ. The final chapter takes aim at specific people found in the world. The appendix,which is basically another chapter, offers a hodge podge of additional devices and characteristics of false teachers with a conclusion as to how one ought to wage war against Satan and his devices.

Review

Brooks states in his introduction, “The strange opposition that I met from Satan, in the study of the following discourse, hath put an edge upon my spirit…” I can honestly testify that the mere reading of this work nearly wrecked me. I struggled with sinful thoughts more in the reading of this work than most any other save the Bible.

I will say that it was definitely worth persevering through to the end. I found chapter four, the devices designed to keep a believer sad and doubting, to be most helpful and emboldening to my soul.  Hardly a page goes by in the book that I did not underline or write a note. Oddly enough, the book is worth owning if for nothing more than the table of contents.

Recommendation

I highly recommend this work to all believers. The language may be dated, but the value of this work is in its complete treatment of a subject that is rarely discussed due to the nature of our spiritual warfare. You will be the better prepared to wage the war against Satan when you do.

Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks by Thomas Brooks

Brooks, Thomas.  Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks: Selections from the Writings of Thomas Brooks by C.H. Spurgeon.  Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2011.  204 pp.  $11.00.  Purchase at Westminster for $8.25.

Introduction/Summary

This book is difficult to summarize as you will see in a few moments.  Thus, I have decided to introduce it and summarize it at the same time.  I first encountered this book while reading the two volume Charles Spurgeon autobiography.  I remembered thinking how having Spurgeon’s selections of Thomas Brooks’ sayings would be enlightening to read.  I was correct.  If I recall properly, Spurgeon started compiling these for his wife, Susannah.  What is now published in this edition is what Spurgeon published in the 19th century.

In essence, this book is 192 pages of little quotes, sayings, illustrations, and phrases of Thomas Brooks selected from his 6-volume set.

Review

Do not read this book with a pen in hand.  You will basically be underling everything!  Each little quip, phrase, or illustration will draw you into meditation upon the Lord.  You can quite literally open the book to any page and begin reading and you will find your heart moved to praise and worship or repentance or, well, you get the idea.  I could not put the book down, except when I wanted to stop and pray, which made for some late nights.  Reading Smooth Stones also gave some insight into how Spurgeon himself thought.

Recommendation

I thoroughly enjoyed Smooth Stones and I believe you will, too.  If you know someone who has never read the Puritans, this book would make an excellent introduction.  Even more, it can be used as a sort of mini-devotional throughout your day.  The book is small enough to fit into a briefcase or purse and, unlike the Bible where context is king, would offer great meditative thoughts to chew on during your day.  (I am not saying this should supplant your Bible reading!)

 

Newest Puritan Paperback: Smooth Stones from Ancient Brooks

Introducing

THE NEWEST PURITAN PAPERBACK

 

Smooth Stones REVISEDSmooth Stones Taken From Ancient Brooks

Selections from the Writings of

Thomas Brooks

by C.H. Spurgeon

 

“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 in his Preface to this book.  He counted Thomas Brooks among his favourite Puritan authors, and it is not hard to see why.  Brooks’ popularity lies both in his subjects – practical truths, central to the Christian life – and in the manner of his presentation.  He is ever direct, urgent, fervent, full of Scripture, and able to choose words which make his sentences stick in one’s mind.
This book is a collection of sentences, illustrations, and quaint sayings from this renowned Puritan.  Gathered by Spurgeon out of the 6 volume set of Brooks’ Works, it remains an excellent introduction to both the man and his writings.
Selections from the Writings of Thomas Brooks
by C.H. Spurgeon
978-1-84871-1136 … 204 pages … $11.00 (U.S.); £5.75 (U.K.)
Enjoy These Selections from
Smooth Stones Taken From Ancient Brooks:
“Sin is bad in the eye, worse in the tongue, worse still in the heart, but worst of all in the life.”
“O how strong is grace!  How victorious over sin, how dead to the world, how alive to Christ, how fit to live, and how prepared to die, might many a Christian have become had they been more frequent, serious, and conscientious in the discharge of closet duties!”
“There is no time yours but the present time, no day yours but the present day; therefore, do not please and feed yourselves with hopes of time to come; that you will repent, but not yet; and lay hold on mercy, but not yet; and give yourselves up to the Lord next week, next month, or next year; for that God who has promised you mercy and favour upon the day of your return, has not promised to prolong your lives till that day comes.”
“There is no such way to attain to greater measures of grace, as for a man to live up to that little grace he has.”
“A sincere heart weeps and laments bitterly over those secret and inward corruptions, which others will scarcely acknowledge to be sins.”
“A murmurer is an ungodly man: he is an ungodlike man; no man on earth more unlike to God than the murmurer; and therefore no wonder if, when Christ comes to execute judgment, he deals severely and terribly with him.  Let him make what profession he will of godliness; yet if murmuring keeps the throne in his heart, Christ will deal with him at last as with ungodly sinners.”
“I think that oftentimes men charge that upon the devil which ought to be charged upon their own hearts.”
“A lazy Christian will always want four things — comfort, content, confidence, and assurance.  Assurance and joy are choice donatives that Christ gives to laborious Christians only.  The lazy Christian has his mouth full of complaints, when the active Christian has his heart full of comforts.”
“True repentance is a gift that is from above; and if the Lord does not give it, man will eternally perish for the want ot it.”

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United We Stand by Thomas Brooks

Brooks, Thomas.  United We Stand.  Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009.  64 pp.  $6.00.  Purchase at Westminster Books for $4.20.

Introduction

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680), was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1640 while serving as a naval chaplain for seven years. became minister at the church of St. Thomas the Apostle, Queen Street, London (1648-1651). He was often called to preach before Parliament. In 1652, he became rector of St. Margaret’s, New Fish Street Hill, which was the first church that burned to the ground in the Great Fire of London (1666). You can purchase his various books (all reprinted by Banner of Truth) at a discounted price here.

Summary

This little 64 page book from the Pocket Puritan Series being published by Banner of Truth is taken from his larger work Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices. Here, we read of 12 remedies against one of Satan’s most evident devices to destroy the church–division. All over the Christian landscape we see division within the body. This camp argues for a more conservative understanding of man’s choice and God’s sovereignty, that camp thinks drums ought to be used in worship, this camp over here thinks the carpet should be blue and not red.

It is abundantly clear that the Christian church needs to come together and be united so that Satan will not be able to prevail against those individuals that he has. These 12 remedies (read it to find them out) are rooted in Scripture and most certainly apply to us today.

Review/Recommendation

This little booklet will only whet the appetite of the reader. Once the clear teaching and application of God’s word from a divine like Boston is understood, the reader will want to drink further from his well. United We Stand offers a brief look at the strategies of Satan and the means by which God has offered us to stand against him as a body with Christ as our head.

I would greatly recommend this resource to any pastor or church leader who 1) wants to prevent Satan from sneaking into the church through the means of division or 2) has experienced a recent division in a church and wants to better equip the saints to avoid another one. This 64 page book makes a great study for church leadership or Sunday School or even in the home.

Pocket Puritans by Banner of Truth

Banner of Truth (BoT) has once again served up some thick Puritan theology in bite-sized morsels. I previously reviewed Heaven by Jonathan Edwards, Anger Management by Richard Baxter, Living Faith by Samuel Ward, and Impure Lust by John Flavel. Now, BoT has blessed us with Repent and Believe by Thomas Brooks and Binge Drinking by John Flavel. Also in the series is The Loveliness of Christ by Samuel Rutherford (reviewed here) and Truth for All Time by John Calvin (review forthcoming).

As I did with the previous review of the Pocket Puritans, I would like to quote Sinclair Ferguson as to why these little books are worth your attention.

To read the work of a Puritan doctor of the soul is to enter a rich world of spiritual theology to feed the mind, heart-searching analysis to probe the conscience, Christ-centered grace to transform the heart, and wise counsel to direct the life. This series of Pocket Puritans provides all this in miniature, but also in abundance.

Repent and Believe by Thomas Brooks

This little 94 page book is a great asset to the pastor. There are days in the ministry when you wonder why people do not repent and believe. It is hard for us believers sometimes to understand why people do not turn to Christ.

Taken from the larger work, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, Brooks lays it all on the line for his readers. He offers six devices as to how Satan keeps the sinner from repentance and the various remedies to each device. Written in the 1600’s, Brooks’ remedies are still effective today. Every Christian will want to read this particular Pocket Puritan so that they may better understand why their family member or friend will not come to Christ.

You can read the entire book in a .pdf file here.

Binge Drinking by John Flavel

Adapted from A Caution to Seamen: A Dissuasive Against Several Horrid and Detestable Sins, one might think that this book is not needed as much today in Christendom. Perhaps the use of the word “binge” in the title may be off a bit, but after reading this short book, I believe it is more needed today than ever.

Flavel does not set out to argue a Christian cannot partake of alcohol as some would hope. Rather, he concedes, as is proper, that the Bible does not prohibit all use of alcohol, but instead prohibits drunkenness. He lists 10 reasons as to why one should not be drunkard or seek to become drunk while drinking. This little book, in my opinion, is one of the most cogent writings on what the Bible says about alcohol and why one should not become drunk with it. Also, since the book was also originally written in the 1600’s, it predates any political arguments found within Christianity today.

An added bonus in this particular Pocket Puritan is the short essay written by Charles H. Spurgeon entitled, He has a Hole in His Nose and His Money Runs Through it. It is short, but it is to the point and it furthers the arguments brought forth by Flavel.

Conclusion

I would once again highly recommend these books. For many, they say the Puritans are too difficult to read. That problem is solved with this series. The Pocket Puritans are definitely worth your time and money and make for an excellent introduction to the Puritans.

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