Quotes by Thomas Brooks
The only way to avoid cannon-shot is to fall down. No such way to be freed from temptation as to keep low.
A preacher’s life should be a commentary of his doctrine; his practice should be a counterpart of his sermons. Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned with a heavenly life.
It is the very drift and design of the whole Scripture, to bring souls first to an acquaintance with Christ, and then to an acceptance of Christ, and then to build them in a sweet assurance of their actual interest in Christ.
Christ is to be answerable for all those that are given to Him, at the last day, and therefore we need not doubt but that He will certainly employ all the power of His Godhead to secure and save all those that He must be accountable for. Christ’s charge and care of these that are given to Him, extends even to the very day of their resurrection, that He may not so much as lose their dust, but gather it together again, and raise it up in glory to be a proof of His fidelity; for, saith He, “I shall lose nothing, but raise it up again at the last day.”
The Spirit never loosens where the Word binds; the Spirit never justifies where the Word condemns; the Spirit never approves where the Word disapproves; the Spirit never blesses where the Word curses.
Satan can never undo a man without himself; but a man may easily undo himself without Satan.
The lives of ministers oftentimes convince more strongly than their words; their tongues may persuade, but their lives command.
It may be you have been more earnest and vehement for assurance, and the effects of it, viz., joy, comfort, and peace, than you have been for grace and holiness, for communion with God, and conformity to God. It may be your requests for assurance have been full of life and spirits, when your requests for grace and holiness, for communion with God, and conformity to God, have been lifeless and spiritless. If so, no wonder that assurance is denied you. Assurance makes most for your comfort, but holiness makes most for God’s honour. Man’s holiness is now his greatest happiness, and in heaven man’s greatest happiness will be his perfect holiness.
Though true repentance is never too late, yet late repentance is seldom true.
When God’s hand is on thy back, let thy hand be on thy mouth, for though the affliction be sharp it shall be but short.
God hears no more than the heart speaks; and if the heart be dumb, God will certainly be deaf.
Ah, were their souls fully assured that God had loved them freely, and received them graciously, and justified them perfectly, and pardoned them absolutely, and would glorify them everlastingly, they could not but love where God loves, and own where God owns, and embrace where God embraces, and be one with every one that is one with Jesus.
Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honor, and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure, and pays with pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss; he promises life, and pays with death. But God pays as He promises; all His payments are made in pure gold.
A man’s most glorious actions will at last be found to be but glorious sins, if he hath made himself, and not the glory of God, the end of those actions.
Don’t excuse yourself by accusing Satan.
Let those be thy choicest companions who have made Christ their chief companion.
Cold prayers always freeze before they reach heaven.
Few follow Him for love, but for loaves, John 6:26; few follow Him for His inward excellencies, but many follow Him for their outward advantages; few follow Him that they may be made good by Him, but many follow Him that they may be great by Him.
They do not love Christ who love anything more than Christ.
O sirs! There is in a crucified Jesus – something proportionate to all the straits, needs, necessities, and desires of His poor people. He is bread to nourish them, a garment to cover and adorn them, a physician to heal them, a counselor to advise them, a captain to defend them, a prince to rule them, a prophet to teach them, a priest to make atonement for them; a husband to protect them, a father to provide for them, a brother to relieve them, a foundation to support them, a head to guide them, a treasure to enrich them, a sun to enlighten them, and a fountain to cleanse them! What more can any Christian desire – to satisfy him and save him; and to make him holy and happy – in time and eternity?
I would leave this with you: Be always doing or receiving good. Our Lord and Master went up and down in this world doing good; He was still doing good to body and soul; He was motivated by an untired power. Be still doing or receiving good. This will make your lives comfortable, your deaths happy, and your account glorious, in the great day of our Lord. Oh! how useless are many men in their generation!
Now believing is nothing else but the accepting of Christ for thy Lord and Saviour as He is offered to thee in the gospel; and this accepting is principally, if not only, the act of thy will; so that if thou art sincerely and cordially willing to have Christ upon His own terms, upon gospel terms, that is, to save thee and rule thee, to redeem thee and to reign over thee, then thou art a believer.
Heaven would be a very hell to an unholy heart. If now – the presence of God in His servants, and the presence of God in His ordinances – is such a hell to unholy souls; ah, what a hell would the presence of God in heaven be – to unholy hearts! It is true, an unholy heart may desire heaven – as it is a place of freedom from troubles, afflictions, oppressions, vexations, etc., and as it is a place of peace, rest, ease, safety, etc. But this is the least and lowest part of heaven. To desire heaven as it is a place of purity, a place of grace, a place of holiness, a place of enjoying God, etc. – is above the reach of an unholy heart. The company of heaven are all holy, the employments of heaven are all holy, the enjoyments of heaven are all holy – therefore heaven would be a most undesirable thing to unholy hearts. An unholy heart is no way desirous nor ambitious of such a heaven as will rid him of his darling sins, as will make him conformable to a holy God, as will everlastingly divorce him from his precious lusts, as will link him forever to those gracious souls whom he has scorned, despised, and persecuted in this world.
The snow covers many a dunghill; so doth prosperity many a rotten heart.
God hath in Himself all power to defend you, all wisdom to direct you, all mercy to pardon you, all grace to enrich you, all righteousness to clothe you, all goodness to supply you, and all happiness to crown you.
Look, as our greatest good comes through the sufferings of Christ, so God’s greatest glory that He hath from His saints comes through their sufferings.
To render good for evil is divine. To render good for good is human. To render evil for evil is brutish. But to render evil for good is devilish!
Discord and division become no Christian. For wolves to worry the lambs is no wonder, but for one lamb to worry another, this is unnatural and monstrous.
He who obeys sincerely endeavors to obey thoroughly.
By doing nothing men learn to do evil things. It is easy slipping out of an idle life into an evil and wicked life. Yes, an idle life is of itself evil, for man was made to be active, not to be idle. Idleness is a mother-sin, a breeding-sin; it is the devil’s cushion – on which he sits; and the devil’s anvil – on which he frames very great and very many sins.
There is nothing which puts a more serious frame into a man’s spirit than to know the worth of his time.
Self-seeking blinds the soul…There is not a greater hindrance to all the duties of piety than self-seeking.
All honey would harm us; all wormwood would undo us – a composition of both is the best way to keep our souls in a healthy constitution. It is best and most for the health of the soul – that the warm south wind of mercy, and the cold north wind of adversity – do both blow upon it. And though every wind which blows, shall blow good to the saints; yet certainly their sins die most, and their graces thrive best, when they are under the frigid, drying, nipping north wind of calamity, as well as under the warm, nourishing south wind of mercy and prosperity.
Idleness is the time of temptation. An idle person is the devil’s tennis-ball, tossed around by him at his pleasure.
The only ground of God’s love is His love. The ground of God’s love is only and wholly in Himself. There is neither portion nor proportion in us to draw His love. There is no love nor loveliness in us that should cause a bean of His love to shine upon us.
Christ choosing solitude for private prayer, doth not only hint to us the danger of distraction and deviation of thoughts in prayer, but how necessary it is for us to choose the most convenient places we can for private prayer. Our own fickleness and Satan’s restlessness call upon us to get into such places where we may freely pour out our soul into the bosom of God (Mark 1.35).
Much faith will yield unto us here our heaven, but any faith, if true, will yield us heaven hereafter.
Zeal is like fire; in the chimney it is one of the best servants; but out of the chimney it is one of the worst masters.
The assured Christian is more motion than notion, more work than word, more life than lip, more hand than tongue.
If any man should ask me what is the first, second, and third part of being a Christian, I must answer, “Action!”
“My sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51.3). A humble soul sees that he can stay no more from sin, than the heart can from panting, and the pulse from beating. He sees his heart and life to be fuller of sin, than the firmament is of stars; and this keeps him low. He sees that sin is so bred in the bone, that till his bones, as Joseph’s, be carried out of the Egypt of this world, it will not out. Though sin and grace were never born together, and though they shall not die together, yet while the believer lives, these two must live together; and this keeps him humble.
He that doth not believe that there is a God, is more vile than a devil. To deny there is a God, is a sort of atheism that is not to be found in hell.
As sinful commissions will stab the soul; so sinful omissions will starve the soul.
To provoke you to be the death of your darling sins… consider, that the conquest and effectual mortifying of one bosom sin, will yield a Christian more glorious joy, comfort, and peace, than ever he hath found in the gratifying and committing of all other sins. The pleasure and sweetness that follows victory over sin is a thousand times beyond that seeming sweetness that is in the gratifying of sin.
God’s corrections are instructions, His lashes our lessons, His scourges our schoolmasters, His chastisements our admonitions! And to note this, the Hebrews and Greeks both do express chastening and teaching by one and the same word, because the latter is the true end of the former.
The two poles could sooner meet, than the love of Christ and the love of the world.
A holy man knows that all sin strikes at the holiness of God, the glory of God, the nature of God, the being of God, and the law of God: and therefore his heart rises against all; he looks upon every sin as the Scribes and Pharisees that accused Christ; and as that Judas that betrayed Christ; and as that Pilate that condemned Christ; and as those soldiers that scourged Christ; and as those spears that pierced Christ.
Such is Satan’s envy and enmity against a Christian’s joy and comfort, that he cannot but act to the utmost of his strength to keep poor souls in doubt and darkness. Satan knows that assurance is a pearl of such price that will make the soul happy forever; he knows that assurance makes a Christian’s wilderness to be a paradise; he knows that assurance begets in Christians the most noble and generous spirits; he knows that assurance is that which will make men strong to do exploits, to shake his tottering kingdom about his ears; and therefore he is very studious and industrious to keep souls off from assurance, as he was to cast Adam out of paradise.
Prayer is nothing but the breathing that out before the Lord, that was first breathed into us by the Spirit of the Lord.
Assurance made David divinely fearless, and divinely careless.
Though heaven be God’s palace, yet it is not his prison.
A man cannot look up to heaven and look down upon the earth at the same time.
Till men have faith in Christ, their best services are but glorious sins.
A Christian knows that death shall be the funeral of all his sins, his sorrows, his afflictions, his temptations, his vexations, his oppressions, his persecutions. He knows that death shall be the resurrection of all his hopes, his joys, his delights, his comforts, his contentments.
God loves adverbs better than nouns; not praying only but praying well; not doing good but doing it well.
Books may preach when the author cannot, when the author may not, when the author dares not, yes, and which is more, when the author is not.
Ah! How often, Christians, hath God kissed you at the beginning of prayer, and spoken peace to you in the midst of prayer, and filled you with joy and assurance upon the close of prayer!
The being in a state of grace will yield a man a heaven hereafter, but the seeing of himself in this estate will yield him both a heaven here and a heaven hereafter; it will render him doubly blest, blest in heaven, and blest in his own conscience.
God looks not at the elegancy of your prayers, to see how neat they are; nor yet at the geometry of your prayers, to see how long they are; nor yet at the arithmetic of your prayers, to see how many they are; nor yet at the music of your prayers, nor yet at the sweetness of your voice, nor yet at the logic of your prayers; but at the sincerity of your prayers, how hearty they are. There is no prayer acknowledged, approved, accepted, recorded, or rewarded by God, but that wherein the heart is sincerely and wholly.
God sees us in secret; therefore, let us seek His face in secret. Though heaven be God’s palace, yet it is not his prison.
What is written is permanent, and spreads itself further by far – for time, place, and people – than the voice can reach.
The best and sweetest flowers of Paradise God gives to His people when they are upon their knees. Prayer is the gate of heaven, a key to let us in to Paradise.
A well-grounded assurance is always attended with three fair handmaids: love, humility, and holy joy.
God’s hearing of our prayers doth not depend upon sanctification, but upon Christ’s intercession; not upon what we are in ourselves, but what we are in the Lord Jesus; both our persons and our prayers are acceptable in the beloved (Eph. 1.6).
Temptations are rather hopeful evidences that thy estate is good, that thou art dear to God, and that it shall go well with thee forever, than otherwise. God had but one Son without corruption, but He had none without temptation.
We know metals by their tinkling, and men by their talking.
Communion with God makes bitter things – sweet; and massive things – light.
Solomon got more hurt by his wealth, than he got good by his wisdom.
Holiness in angels and saints is but a quality, but in God it is His essence.
Repentance is the vomit of the soul.
I am His by purchase and I am His by conquest; I am His by donation and I am His by election; I am His by covenant and I am His by marriage; I am wholly His; I am peculiarly His; I am universally His; I am eternally His. Once I was a slave but now I am a son; once I was dead but now I am alive; once I was darkness but now I am light in the Lord; once I was a child of wrath, an heir of hell, but now I am an heir of heaven; once I was Satan’s bond-servant but now I am God’s freeman; once I was under the spirit of bondage but now I am under the Spirit of adoption that seals up to me the remission of my sins, the justification of my person and the salvation of my soul.
Bodily exercise will profit nothing if abstracted from those more spiritual. The glory that God hath, and the comfort and advantage that will accrue to your souls is mostly from the spiritual exercise of religion.
Saving grace makes a man as willing to leave his lusts as a slave is willing to leave his galley, or a prisoner his dungeon, or a thief his bolts, or a beggar his rags.
If God were not my friend, Satan would not be so much my enemy.
Remember that it is not hasty reading, but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, that makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time on the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.
A family without prayer is like a house without a roof, open and exposed to all the storms of heaven.
Man’s holiness is now his greatest happiness, and in heaven man’s greatest happiness will be his perfect holiness.
When afflictions arrest us, we shall murmur and grumble and struggle until we see that it is God that strikes.
It is sad…that saints should have many eyes to behold one another’s infirmities, and not one eye to see each other’s graces.
It is only an infinite God, and an infinite good, that can fill and satisfy the precious and immortal soul of man.