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Thomas Manton (1620-1677)

One of the most prolific puritans of the day.
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.

“One way to get comfort is to plead the promise of God in prayer, show Him His handwriting; God is tender of His Word.”

Godly Directions in a Time of Plague by John Hooper (1495–1555), Lancelot Andrewes (1555–1626), William Crashaw (1572–1626), Henry Burton (1579–1648), John Owen (1616–1683), Thomas Manton (1620–1677), Thomas Draxe (d. 1618), with chapters by C. Matthew McMahon

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Biography of Thomas Manton (1620-1677):

Born in Laurence Lydiard, Somerset, Manton was educated locally and then at Hart Hall, Oxford where he graduated BA in 1639. Joseph Hall, bishop of Norwich, ordained him deacon the following year. He never took priest’s orders, holding that he was properly ordained to the ministerial office. He was then appointed town lecturer of Collumpton in Devon. After a profitable few years, he was called to the parish of Stoke Newington in Middlesex in the winter of 1644-1645, and began to build a reputation as a forthright and popular defender of Reformed principles. This led to his participation in several key events, such as the Westminster Assembly and confession publication, and his being asked to preach before Parliament on several occasions.


After ten years in Middlesex, he was appointed to the living of St. Paul’s in Covent Garden. Again he became very popular and continued to exercise a wide influence on public affairs, calling for the restoration of Charles II in 1660. For his part in this he was offered the Deanery of Rochester by the new monarch, but he refused on conscience grounds. He had disapproved of the execution of Charles I. In 1658, he had assisted Richard Baxter to draw up the Fundamentals of Religion. He was one of Oliver Cromwell’s chaplains and a trier.

In 1660, Manton, like most other Presbyterians, worked hard to see the restoration of the monarchy. He was sent to Breda to attend to Prince Charles, and was made a king’s chaplain, and later made Doctor of Divinity. He was also offered the deanery of Rochester, but declined this. The gratefulness of the mighty is apparent in that Manton was ejected from his church in 1662, along with most other Puritan ministers, and left without a living. He began to hold private meetings in his home, but in 1670 was imprisoned for this. The Act of Uniformity 1662 saw Manton resign his living with many other Puritans in protest at this attack on their Reformed principles. Despite his lack of patronage, he continued to preach and write even when imprisoned for refusing to cooperate. He was soon found preaching to the prisoners and prison keepers, and was soon entrusted with the keys to the cells when the jailer was away. After his release, Manton again appeared before the king and pleaded the case of religious liberty. Manton set up a lecture at Pinner’s Hall in 1672, and ministered there on occasion. He was seized by an illness, and this able Puritan preacher, died in his bed in London, aged 57. Manton was buried in the chancel of Stokes Newington, and the funeral sermon was delivered by Dr. William Bates. Manton’s works are some of the best examples of Puritan piety and theology, and were printed in 22 volumes.

Although Manton is little known now, in his day he was held in as much esteem as men like John Owen. He was best known for his skilled expository preaching. His finest work is probably his Exposition of James.


His Works:

Complete Works:

Complete Works


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