Legacies of Thomas Brooks
Thomas Brooks farewell address to his people is peculiarly adapted for usefulness. Brooks ends with giving his people some hints of advice, which he calls legacies, hoping they might be of use to them in the perusal when he had not the advantage of speaking to them in public.
1. Secure your saving interest in Christ. This is not a time for a man to be between hopes and fears. Take not up with an outward form, crying, "The Temple of the Lord."
2. Make Christ and Scripture the only foundation for your souls, and for faith to build upon.
3. In all places and companies, be sure to carry your soul-preservatives with you, (a holy care and wisdom), as men carry outward preservatives with them in infectious times.
4. See that all your graces, your faith, love, courage, zeal, resolution, magnanimity — rise higher by opposition, threatenings, and sufferings. Say as David, "If this be vile, I will be more vile!"
5. Take more pains to keep yourselves from sin than from suffering.
6. Be always doing or receiving good. This will make your lives comfortable, your deaths happy, and your account glorious in the great day of the Lord.
7. Set the highest examples of grace and godliness before you for imitation. Next to that of Christ, the pattern of the choicest saints. For faith, Abraham; for courage, Joshua; for uprightness, Job; for meekness, Moses, etc.
8. Hold fast your integrity. Let all go rather than let that go. (Job 27:5, 6.)
9. Let not a day pass without calling the whole man to an exact account. Hands — What have you done for God to day? Tongue — What have you spoke? etc,
10. Labor for a healing spirit. Away with all discriminating names that may hinder the applying of balm to heal our wounds. Discord and division befit no Christian. For wolves to worry the lambs is no wonder — but for one lamb to worry another is unnatural and monstrous.
11. Be most in the spiritual exercises of religion, meditation, self-examination, etc. Bodily exercises without these will profit nothing.
12. Take no truths upon trust, but all upon trial. Bring all to the balance of the sanctuary. (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Acts 17:11.) It was the glory of that church that they would not trust Paul himself.
13. The fewer opportunities and the lesser advantages you have in public, the more abundantly address yourselves to God in private. (Malachi 3:16, 17.)
14. Walk in those ways that are directly contrary to the vain, sinful, superstitious ways — which men of a formal, carnal, lukewarm spirit walk in.
15. Look upon all the things of this world as you will when you come to die. Men may now put a lovely mask upon them, but then they will appear in their own colors.
16. Never put off conscience with any plea that you dare not stand by in the great day of your account.
17. Eye more the internal workings of God in your souls, than the external providences of God. If God should carry on ever so glorious a work in the world as the conquest of nations to Christ, what would it advantage you if sin, Satan, and the world triumph in your soul?
18. Look as well on the bright, as well as on the dark side of Providence.
19. Keep up precious thoughts of God, under his sharpest and severest dispensations to you.
20. Hold on and hold out in the ways of well-doing, in the lack of all outward discouragements. Follow the Lamb, though all others follow the beast and the false prophet.
21. In all your natural, civil, and religious actions, let divine glory rest upon your souls; let the glory of Christ lie nearest your hearts.
22. Record all special favors, mercies, providences, and experiences. Little do you know the advantages that will redound to your souls upon this.
23. Never enter upon the trial of your spiritual estate, but when your hearts are in the fittest temper.
24. Always make the Scripture, and not your carnal reason, or your bare opinion (or that of others) the rule by which to judge of your spiritual condition.
25. Make conscience of making good the terms on which you closed with Christ, namely, that you would deny yourselves, take up the cross, and follow Him.
26. Walk by no rule but such as you dare die by, and stand by in the day of Jesus Christ. Do not walk with the multitude. Make not the example of great men your rule, which stands in opposition to Jesus Christ. Who dare stand by either of these before him at the great day?
27. Lastly. Sit down and rejoice with fear. Rejoice in what God has done for your souls by the everlasting gospel. Weep that you have done no more to improve it, and that you have so neglected the opportunities of enriching your souls.
Here are your LEGACIES. May the Lord make them of singular use to you, that you may give up your account to the great and glorious God with joy. Make conscience of putting these things into practice until you shall be brought to the fruition of God, where you shall need ordinances, preaching, and praying no more.