United we Stand
In the Pocket Puritans Series
In his constant warfare against the church the devil loves nothing better than to sow the seeds of discord and division. The Puritan Thomas Brooks lamented, “Our own woeful experience is too great a proof of this.”
How can we counter this devilish ploy? Brooks outlines a twelve-point action plan and teaches us that United We Stand, Divided We Fall is a fitting motto for every Christian soldier and Christian church.
Endorsement of the Series:
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.’ — Sinclair Ferguson, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA
Contents: Brooks’s remedies to disunity
- To dwell more upon one another’s graces than upon one another’s weaknesses and infirmities.
- To solemnly consider that love and union makes most for your own safety and security.
- Dwell upon those commands of God that do require you to love one another.
- To dwell more upon those choice and sweet things wherein you agree, than upon those things wherein you differ.
- Solemnly to consider that God delights to be styled (known as) The God of Peace.
- To make more care and conscience of keeping up your peace with God.
- To dwell much upon that near relation and union that is between you.
- Dwell upon the miseries of discord.
- Seriously to consider that it is no disparagement to you to be first in seeking peace and reconcilement. But rather an honor to you, that you have begun to seek peace.
- For saints to join together and walk together in ways of grace and holiness, so far as they do agree, making the Word their only touchstone and judge of their actions.
- To be much in self-judging. “Judge yourselves, and you shall not be judged of the Lord.”, 1 Cor 11:31
- Labour to be clothed with humility.
About the Author
Little is known about Thomas Brooks as a man, other than can be ascertained from his many writings. Born, probably of well-to-do parents, in 1608, Brooks entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1625. He was licensed as a preacher of the gospel by 1640 at the latest. Before that date he seems to have spent a number of years at sea, probably as a chaplain with the fleet.
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 on 26 December, 1648. Three or four years later he moved to St Margaret’s, Fish-street Hill, London, but encountered considerable opposition as he refused baptism and the Lord’s Supper to those clearly ‘unworthy’ of such privileges.
The following years were filled with written as well as spoken ministry. 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. Treatises continued to flow from his agile pen. In 1677 or 1678 he married for the second time, ‘she spring-young, he winter-old’. Two years later he went home to his Lord.