would today call Thomas Hooker
a liberal in religion, pioneer in political liberty though he proved to be. His extant sermons have the steady stroke of a great hammer, smiting at the mind and heart.
“Others because they have felt the heavy hand of God . . . upon these grounds they build their hopes: ‘I have had my hell in this life, and I hope to have heaven in the world to come; I hope the worst is over.’
” Not so, thunders the preacher in reply: “Sodom
and Gomorrah they burnt in brimstone and they shall burn in hell.”
One of Hooker
's successors has called him “a son of thunder and a son of consolation by turns.”
The same may be said of Thomas Shepard
, another graduate of Emmanuel College in the old Cambridge
, who became the “soul-melting preacher” of the newer Cambridge
by the Charles
Pure, ravishing notes of spiritual devotion still sing themselves in his pages.
He is wholly Calvinist.
He thinks “the truth is a poor mean thing in itself” and that the human reason cannot be “the last resolution of all doubts,” which must be sought only in the written Word of God.
He holds it “a tough work, a wonderful hard matter to be saved.”
is not got with a wet finger.”
Yet, like so many mystics, he yearns to be “covered ”