Thomas Hooker
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5
 

Thomas Hooker (1586-1647), was a notable Puritan with many accomplishments, such as founding Hartford, Connecticut after departing England in response to the persecution of the infamous Archbishop Laud. Hartford was Hooker's ultimate resting place, and history records that his death was viewed as a public calamity.

Hooker produced many commendable works which typified Puritanism in all its glory. Francis Drake was a strong supporter of Hooker, and one of Hooker's treatises, The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ, was written in large part to assure Drake's wife that she had not committed the unpardonable sin, as well as to assure genuine Christians of their common salvation. Prior to Hooker's attempt, both James Ussher and John Dod had tried to comfort Mrs. Drake, but without success. Thus, Hooker's skill in surpassing the efforts of these two giants is noteworthy, and helped to establish Hooker's reputation as a physician of souls.

Hooker himself testifies to a powerful conversion, the experience of his regeneration being the ground and classroom of his future sermons and discourses. His preaching was so powerful and with such unction that history records widespread revival and reformation in all regions frequented by him. Being finally forced to flee the emissaries of Laud, he was only steps ahead of his persecutors and certain arrest when he reached his ship to set sail for Holland. The wind, which had been against them initially, immediately turned about when Hooker boarded ship, and thus they were able to set sail instantly. Not long after, in close pursuit, his persecutors arrived at the seashore with full intent to continue the chase, but suddenly the wind shifted again and set itself completely against them. Thus unable to effectively continue the pursuit, the persecutor's efforts were thwarted and Hooker escaped with ease.

After several years of productive ministry in Holland, Hooker ultimately made his way to America in order to practice true Christianity without interference from the State. His fame attended him, as many souls uprooted themselves and their families so as to be near Hooker and his associates. Thus was the colony at Hartford founded. Thomas Hooker's works are difficult to find, but a successful search is well worth the effort.

"When men, out of carnal reason, contrive another way to come to Christ than ever he ordained or revealed; when we set up our standards in addition to God's standard, or our threshold beside his, and out of our own imagination make another state of believing than ever Christ required or ordained -- no wonder that we come short of him." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Our Saviour, being our husband, requires no portion with us, nor ever looked after any. All he looks for is mere poverty and emptiness. If you have nothing, yet he will have you with your nothing... The Lord looks for no power or sufficiency from you of yourselves, nor any power against corruption or enlargement to duties." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"For whom did Christ come into the world, and for whom did he die when he had come? Was it for the righteous? Such needed him not; it was for the poor sinner who judges himself, who condemns himself, and who finds that he cannot save himself." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"What Scripture ever said that the greatness of man's sin could hinder the greatness of God's mercy? No Scripture says so." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"The Word and means of grace work well if they make you more sensible of your hardness and deadness... That medicine works most kindly that makes the party sick before it works; so it is with the Word... the Word works sweetly when it makes you aware that a wounded soul is the gift of God... To feel deadness is life, and to feel hardness is softness." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"You think to limit the Holy One of Israel, but that will not be; for his covenant is a covenant of grace, and the Lord, who is free, will not stand bent to your bow or give you grace when you say so; for it is not for us to know the times and seasons... Therefore, hear today, wait tomorrow, and continue in so doing, because you know not when God may bless his own ordinances. Complain not of delays, but wait; for God has waited for you a long time... God gives what, when, and how he will; therefore wait for it." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"He who seeks the Saviour in his duties and rests not in self-performances -- this man brings the Saviour, Christ, into his soul. And mark what follows: Christ brings pardoning and purging virtue with him, and gives him more power against corruptions, and more suspicion regarding his own soul, than ever he had before... This is a ground of a gracious heart, that places no confidence in holy duties, but only in the Lord Christ." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Many a man makes his services into his saviours, for he makes them the foundation to bear up his conscience... thus many poor souls use the means as mediators, and so fall short of Christ." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Self-denial is when the soul knows it has nothing, and therefore is so overpowered with the mighty hand of God and the work of his Spirit that it does not so much as expect any power or ability from itself... It therefore looks up to heaven and seeks all sufficiency from God alone... For a man to deny himself is for him to know that he has no power in himself to do any spiritual duty. Therefore we must look only to the voice that calls us, the voice of Christ, and know that he who calls us from the ways of darkness, and out of ourselves, must and will bring us out. Therefore, expect power from Christ alone to pluck you out of yourself, and to make you a believer; for the same hand must do both or it will never be." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"When all other things in the world fail; let the soul look up to the Lord and get away from itself. For then is the most fitting time of all to meet with God." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"You who have committed high treason, you think nothing of it. But take heed, God will pursue you one day. Perhaps God lets you alone for the present, but he will surprise you suddenly, and conscience will pluck you by the throat and carry you down to hell." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Despair has slain his thousands, but presumption his ten thousands, in that men may swear, lie, deceive, and break all commands, and yet hope to be saved... This is that which has slain many thousands among us, and they are few who have not split upon this rock." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Look to the reasons that carry you, and to the arguments that persuade you; see that they are not groundless and foolish hopes. You hope to be saved, you hope to go to heaven, and you hope to see the face of God with comfort. Look about, I say. Good hope has good reason; grounded hope has grounded reason." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"That sight of sin which does not drive a man to Christ for mercy is ever sinful." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"If Satan or carnal reason should have anything to say against you, let them bring Scripture, and then yield to it in the true sense, but without the Word, hear nothing." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"The Word must ever be in your hands, and the meditation of it in your hearts. It must be always with you, and you must keep it with you daily... judge your soul by the Word, and look upon that sacred Word as your magnifying glass. Let it bear witness for you. And what the Word of God evidences to you, that maintain, and hear nothing against it." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Let the Lord do what he will, and let us do what we should." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"It is a man's skill, and it should be his endeavour daily, to look narrowly to his heart, to see what it is that the heart desires most... Do honours, riches, the applause of men, or any earthly pleasures offer you contentment and satisfaction? Then persuade your heart that there is a greater worth in the promise than can be had in all of them. For here is an exceeding weight of glory, and he who has it shall be made a king, and shall have that glory that will never fade." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Labour to bring your heart to such a place that all the things in the world, without the promise, are nothing. Consider that if you had all that the earth can afford, and not the promise, you have nothing but the wind, or that which will be a curse to you rather than a blessing." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Our prayers, if they want faith in the promise, are prayers of no substance, words and nothing else. On the other hand, as for the most broken and chattering prayers of a poor soul, when a poor creature can scarcely utter five words with any sense, yet these, however weak, mingled with faith, are a very powerful prayer." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"To expect faith without a promise is as if a man should expect a crop of corn without seed; for the promise is the immortal seed of God's Word whereby the Spirit breeds this faith in the hearts of all who are his." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"I would have you live above the world. Though you have no coat to cover you, nor a house to put your head in, yet, if you have faith, you are a rich man; therefore husband your estate well... This is the life of faith; and this life we not only may live, but we ought to live." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Whatever strength you need, fetch it from grace in Christ; and whatever comfort you lack, fetch it from Christ. But live by faith, and make a good living of it too; and then you have improved the promise rightly. Bring but an empty, believing heart with you, and the oil will never fail; the meal in the barrel will never decay, but will continually supply you, as it did that poor widow." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Let the Word of God dwell plenteously in you, and richly in all wisdom. Observe: it must be PLENTY, not scant; it must DWELL in you, so that you may but step aside and have it. There is the matter for your faith to work on." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"It is in vain to bid a man to live by faith who has none; but it is for those in whose hearts God has been pleased to work this blessed grace... for there is a great deal of counterfeit faith in the world." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"A minister who is faithful desires to preach fruitfully, and to the benefit of the congregation, but we ministers instead catch at the helps that are near at hand, go to our books and studies -- our own wits and pains -- and think these will do the deed." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Do not only look and see what you have, but consider that the greatest part of your glory is in the glory of Christ; the greatest part of your wisdom is in the wisdom of Christ; the greatest part of your liberty is in the liberty of Christ, and your riches in the riches of Christ. And know that, whatever is in Christ, you have it all as your own." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"The Lord will dispense the blessings of his kingdom when he pleases, and not when we would have him do it. When the Lord sees these blessings of spiritual mercies and temporal favours are ripe and most seasonable to your needs, then you shall have them -- but the time is in God's hand." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"A potter is minded to make so many vessels of honour; so if the Lord will make you a vessel of honour, go away contented. Whether you have so much prosperity, so much good or not, or so much grace, it does not matter so much; it is enough that you are elected to eternal happiness." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Put that which you see and need in the promise to work, so that the power and wisdom of God may communicate to your soul... This is God's proper office and work: he cares for your soul. Therefore lay it all upon him, put over all your care into his hands, and set his power and faithfulness to do the work." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Whatever it is that is in God's royal prerogative, leave it with God, and do not meddle with it. Let God look to it; leave it to his faithfulness and power to accomplish." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"We prevent God's kindness when we go away before he is willing to bestow a kindness on us. But faith will not do so. He who believes does not make haste." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"So the last work of faith is this: in a holy humility, labour to contend with God, and by a strong hand overcome the Lord; for the Lord loves to be overcome in this way. Do not be irreverent with the Lord, but in the sense of your own baseness, as it were, lay hold upon the Lord Jesus and strive with him; do not stop till you have those comforts he has promised, and for which you have begged." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Faith is to be laboured for above all graces... let us further consider that if we once get this grace, we get all other graces with it... Oh, then, how should it encourage us to labour for faith, seeing that, by getting it, we have all... Having this grace of faith, you need not seek for wisdom, for faith will make you wise unto salvation, and you need not labour for patience, for he who is faithful will be patient -- and so it is for other graces. He who has the grace of faith has them all; he has holiness, cleanness, love, a pure mind, and a good conscience -- in fact, what does he not have?" The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"Would you have the glory of God in your eye, and be more heavenly-minded? Then look to it, and get it by the eye of faith. Look up to it in the face of Jesus Christ, and then you shall see it; and then stay there, for there, and there only, this vision of the glory of God is to be seen to your everlasting peace and endless comfort." The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn To Christ

"God doth justify the believing man, yet not for the worthiness of his belief but for the worthiness of Him which is believed." A Discourse Of Justification