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Thomas Hooker (1586-1647)

Hooker was not a Puritan, but a Pilgrim. He was very influential and wrote a number of important works that are quite "puritannical."

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

“All the men in the world are either vessels of mercy or vessels of wrath, according to the will of God.”

His Works:

The Covenant of Grace Opened by Thomas Hooker – eBook
Buy his printed works HERE

The Works of Thomas Hooker available in old English:

1. A Brief Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer. (109 pages) PDF Internet Archive

2. The Christian’s Two Chief Lessons: Self-Denial and Self-Trial. (226 pages) PDF Internet Archive

3. The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn to Christ. (159 pages) PDF Internet Archive

4. The Soul’s Exaltation. (360 pages) PDF Internet Archive
A treatise containing:
a. The Soul’s Union with Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:17.
b. The Soul’s Benefit from Union with Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:30.
c. The Soul’s Justification. 2 Corinthians 5:21.

5. A Survey of the Sum of Church Discipline. (500 pages) PDF Internet Archive

6. The Soul’s Preparation for Christ. Subtitled “A Treatise of Contrition, Wherein is discovered How God breaks the Heart, and Wounds the Soul, in the Conversion of a Sinner to Himself”.
7. The Covenant of Grace Opened.
8. The Application of Redemption.
9. The Danger of Desertion. The farewell sermon of Thomas Hooker.
10. The Saint’s Dignity and Duty.
11. The Soul’s Humiliation.
12. The Soul’s Ingrafting into Christ.

 

Biography of Thomas Hooker (1586-1647):

Thomas Hooker was a prominent Pilgrim colonial leader, who founded the colony of Connecticut after dissenting with Pilgrim leaders in Massachusetts. He was known as an outstanding speaker and a leader of universal Christian suffrage.

Called today “the Father of Connecticut,” Thomas Hooker was a towering figure in the early development of colonial New England. He was one of the great preachers of his time, an erudite writer on Christian subjects, the first minister of Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the first settlers and founders of both the city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut, and cited by many as the inspiration for the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut,” cited by some as the world’s first written democratic constitution that established a representative government.

Most likely coming out of the county of Leicestershire, in the East Midlands region, the Hooker family was prominent at least as far back as the reign of Henry VIII. There is known to have been a great Hooker family in Devon, well-known throughout Southern England. The Devon branch produced the great theologian and clergyman, the Rev. Richard Hooker.

Thomas Hooker was likely born at Marefield or Birstall, Leicestershire, and went to school at Market Bosworth. He received his Bachelors of Arts from Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1608, continuing there to earn his Masters of Arts in 1611. He stayed at Emmanuel as a fellow for a few years. After his stay at Emmanuel, Hooker preached at the Esher parish, where he earned a reputation as an excellent speaker.

Around 1626, Hooker became a lecturer at the Chelmsford Cathedral. However, in 1629 Archbishop William Laud suppressed church lecturers, and Hooker was forced to retire to Little Baddow. His leadership of Puritan sympathizers brought him a summons to the Court of High Commission. Forfeiting his bond, Hooker fled to Rotterdam, Holland, and from there immigrated to Massachusetts Bay Colony aboard the Griffin.

Hooker arrived in Boston and settled in Newtown (later renamed Cambridge), where he became the pastor of the First Parish Church. His parish became known as “Mr. Hooker’s Company”.

Voting in Massachusetts was limited to freemen, individuals who had been formally admitted to their church after a detailed interrogation of their religious views and experiences. Hooker disagreed with this limitation of suffrage, putting him at odds with the influential pastor John Cotton. Owing to his conflict with Cotton and discontented with the suppression of Puritan suffrage and at odds with the colony leadership, Hooker and the Rev. Samuel Stone led a group of about 100 who, in 1636, founded the settlement of Hartford, named for Stone’s place of birth: Hertford, in England.

This led to the founding of the Connecticut Colony. Hooker became more active in politics in Connecticut. The General Court representing Wethersfield, Windsor, and Hartford met at the end of May 1638 to frame a written constitution in order to establish a government for the commonwealth. Hooker preached the opening sermon at First Church of Hartford on May 31, declaring that “the foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people.”

On January 14, 1639, freemen from these three settlements ratified the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” in what John Fiske called “the first written constitution known to history that created a government. It marked the beginnings of American democracy, of which Thomas Hooker deserves more than any other man to be called the father. The government of the United States today is in lineal descent more nearly related to that of Connecticut than to that of any of the other thirteen colonies.”

In recognition of this, on the wall of the narrow alleyway just outside the grounds near the Chelmsford Cathedral in Chelmsford, Essex, England, where he was town lecturer and curate, there is a Hooker Memorial Civic Plaque fixed high on the wall of the narrow alleyway, opposite the south porch, that reads: “Thomas Hooker, 1586 – 1647, Curate at St. Mary’s Church and Chelmsford Town Lecturer 1626-29. Founder of the State of Connecticut, Father of American Democracy.”

Thomas Hooker died during an “epidemical sickness” in 1647, at the age of 61.

 

Bible Verse:

“For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts,” (Malachi 2:7).

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