Thomas Hooker

Thomas Hooker

Thomas Hooker

Thomas Hooker

Excerpt

These years are years of remembrance in New England. We are reminded by these anniversaries of those who, crossing the Atlantic in such little ships as the Arbella and the Griffin, laid down the keels of these ships of state, these free and noble commonwealths in which we have found safety in storms and pure delight in peace.

One of the most notable of those journeymen of God was our own great fellow citizen, Thomas Hooker, a statesman of the first rank and a powerful preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thomas Hooker was born in 1586, in the hamlet of Marfield, in the parish of Tilton, in the county of Leicester, England. That region is the midland of England, and there in those neighborhoods of Stratford, Bedford, and Huntingdon were born Shakespeare, Bunyan, and Cromwell. From the hilltops in that parish you could see in his day, and you can see today, one of the most beautiful landscapes in that English countryside. On one of those hilltops stands St. Peter's Parish Church; a stone, Gothic church built in the middle of the twelfth century. It was four hundred years old when Thomas Hooker was baptized at its old font in 1986, and it is almost eight hundred years old today. The parish had few inhabitants in the middle of the sixteenth century, and it had few inhabitants in the middle of the nineteenth. In 1564, when Queen Elizabeth was on the throne, Marfield had six families. In 1884, when Victoria was queen, Marfield had five families. Not much change in three hundred years!

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