Phillips Brooks is best known today as the author of "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Former generations, however, accounted him the greatest American preacher of the nineteenth century (and not for lack of other candidates). His sermons are still read.
He was born in Boston in 1835 and educated at Harvard and at Virginia Theological Seminary. After ten years of ministry at two churches in Philadelphia, he returned to Boston in 1869 and was rector of Trinity Church there until 1891. He was then elected Bishop of Massachusetts, and died two years later.
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A Faith of Practical Action "... as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart"
And then the third quality of a creed that a man may keep up to the end is that it is a creed capable of being turned into action. A mere speculation, however true it be, I think you never can be sure that the mind will hold. The faith which you keep must be a ...read
A Faith That Can Be Kept "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men"
And the second characteristic of the faith that can be kept will be its evidence, its proved truth. It will not be a mere aggregation of chance opinions. The reason why a great many people seem to be always changing their faith is that they ne ...read
Growing in Truth "For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds"
For I think that the first condition of any permanent hold on any truth is this, that the truth itself should be live enough and large enough to open constantly and bring to every new condition through which we pass some new experience of itself. ...read
Living for Others "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others"
The truth is, that we are our best when we try to be it not for ourselves alone, but for our brethren; and that we take God's gifts most completely for ourselves when we realize that He sends them to us for the benefit of other men, who stand be ...read
Phillips Brooks Prayer PRAYER (traditional wording)
O everlasting God, who didst call thy servant Phillips Brooks To the ministry of preaching, and didst give him wisdom, charity, and eloquence that he might speak the truth with grace and power: Grant, we pray, that all whom thou dost call to preach the Gospel may steep themselves in thy word, and conform their lives ...read
Shaping of Character by Truth "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts"
The great purpose of life--the shaping of character by truth--is to be sought in all the life. There are no wasted hours. It must begin in the life's morning and run on till the nightfall comes. With the first opening of conscious existence--nay, who can say how long before exist ...read
The Faithfulness of the Common Man "And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth..."
It seems very certain that the world is to grow better and richer in the future, however it has been in the past, not by the magnificent achievements of the highly-gifted few, but by the patient faithfulness of the one-talented many. If we could draw back the curt ...read
Truth and Duty are Always Wedded "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work"
And the world of God includes two notions, one of revelation and one of commandment. Whenever God speaks by any of His voices, it is first to tell us some truth which we did not know before, and second to bid us do something which we have not been doing. Ev ...read