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Spurgeon on Manton

Category Articles
Date September 26, 2008

While commenting upon the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm, I was brought into most intimate communion with Thomas Manton, who has discoursed upon that marvellous portion of Scripture with great fulness and power. I have come to know him so well that I could pick him out from among a thousand divines if he were again to put on his portly form, and display among modern men that countenance wherein was ‘a great mixture of majesty and meekness.’ His Works occupy twenty-two volumes in the modern reprint – a mighty mountain of sound theology. They mostly consist of sermons; but what sermons! They are not so sparkling as those of Henry Smith, nor so profound as those of Owen, nor so rhetorical, is those of Howe, nor so pithy as those of Watson, nor so fascinating as those of Brooks; and yet they are second to none of these. For solid, sensible instruction, forcibly delivered, they cannot be surpassed. Manton is not brilliant, but he is always clear; he is not oratorical, but he is powerful; he is not striking, but he is deep. There is not a poor discourse in the whole collection – they are evenly good, constantly excellent. Ministers who do not know Manton need not wonder if they are themselves unknown.


Thomas Manton was born in 1620 in Lawrence-Lydiat, Somerset, England. His father and both grandfathers were ministers of the gospel. When he was 15 he entered Wadham College at the University of Oxford. At nineteen he was ordained by Bishop Joseph Hall of Exeter (later of Norwich). His first settlement was at Stoke Newington in Middlesex, and his patron was Colonel Popham. He was there for seven years, and was appointed a chaplain to the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell. He succeeded Obadiah Sedgwick at Covent Garden in London. He was instrumental in the restoration of Charles II and became a Royal Chaplain, but in the Great Ejection he suffered along with other Puritans. He was imprisoned, but was allowed to preach from prison. He died October 18th, 1677 and his body was interred in the church at Stoke Newington.

The following Manton titles are available from the Trust:

Notes

Note: The Trust’s Manton titles Psalm 119 (3 volumes), James, and Jude (Geneva series of commentaries) are currently out of print.

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