A Quick Look At The Life Of Thomas Brooks
Thomas Brooks was born in 1608, but we know very little about him except what can be gleaned from his writings. He entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1625 but left before graduating. In 1640 he took to sea as Chaplain to the parlimamentary fleet. After the civil war, and back in England Brooks became the minister of St. Thomas of the Apostle in London where he served until 1651. In 1652 he was asked a second time to preach at parliament and he took the pastorate of St Margarets, Fish-Street Hill
Since he held to a more congregational view of church government he lost his pastorate when the Act of Uniformity was passed in 1662. This didn't stop him, and he continued to preach around London with no or little opposition. While most fled London when the plague hit in 1665 Brooks bravley stayed to tend to the people of London's spiritual needs. This is deeply impressive, since law had it that this guy should not be preaching at that time.
During the time of the great plague he wrote a book called 'Heavenly Cordial' but most copies of this were destroyed during the fire.
His first wife Martha died in 1676 and he remarried to Patience Cartwright who was a young lady, causing a few people to talk about his age vs hers.
He died 27th September 1680 at the age of 72.
His books (sermons) are simple, practical and full of Scripture and while i've only read one (The Secret Key to Heaven, which is a great book on prayer), Spurgeon loved Brooks, so that is a greater reccommendation than I can give to look at his works.
He was described as a sweet, charitable, patient man with strong faith by John Reeve, who preached at Brooks' funeral, which is a great description i'm sure of how we'd all like to be remembered.