2009-05-22

Garvie on Adams

In his 1921 book Christian preaching A E Garvie has a place for Adams in his history. He puts him between Henry Smith and Thomas Goodwin and says

Even greater as a Puritan preacher than Henry Smith was Thomas Adams (died after 1630), "the Shakespeare of the Puritans."
"While Adams is not so sustained as Jeremy Taylor, nor so continuously sparkling as Thomas Fuller, he is surpassingly eloquent, and much more thought-laden than either."
While doctrine of the Calvinistic Evangelical type had a large place in his preaching, he did not overlook morals and manners. He insists on both learning and piety in the preacher, and warns him against seeking the applause of men. In a sermon on the Fatal Banquet he anticipates Bunyan in describing the vanity of human desires and efforts.
The following sentences explain why he was likened to Shakespeare:

"Oh, how goodly this building of man appears when it is clothed with beauty and honour ! A face full of majesty, the throne of comeliness, wherein the whiteness of the lily contends with the sanguine of the rose; an active hand, an erected countenance, an eye sparkling out lustre, a smooth complexion, arising from an excellent temperature and composition. Oh, what a workman was this, that could raise such a fabric out of the earth, and lay such orient colours upon dust!"
Aware of man's dignity, he is moved by the tragedy of man's sin and refusal of God's grace.

"Come then, beloved, to Jesus Christ; come betimes, the flesh calls, we come; vanity calls, we flock; the world calls, we fly: let Christ call early and late, He has yet to say, 'Ye will not come unto me that you might have life!"

Google books Update

We notice that besides the Commentary on 2 Peter and another sermon collection a volume from the Works is also now available on Google books.
See here