BROOKS, Phillips, American Protestant Episcopal bishop: b. Boston, Mass., 13 Dec. 1835; d. there, 23 Jan. 1893. He inherited the best traditions of New England history, being on the paternal side the direct descendant of John Cotton, and his mother's name, Phillips, standing for high learning and distinction in the Congregational Church. Born at a time when the orthodox faith was fighting its bitter est battle with Unitarianism, his parents ac cepted the dogmas of the new theology, and had him baptized by a Unitarian clergyman. But while refusing certain dogmas of the orthodox Church they were the more thrown back for spiritual support upon the internal evidences of evangelical Christianity. Transition to the Episcopal Church was easy; the mother became an Episcopalian, and the future bishop received all his early training in that communion. But heredity had its influence, and in after life he declared that the Episcopal Church could reap the fruits of the long and bitter controversy, which divided the New England Church only as it discerned the spiritual worth of Puritan ism and the value of its contributions to the history of religious thought and character. Such were the early surroundings of the man, and the subsequent influences of his life tended to foster this liberal spirit. When he entered Harvard, he came into an atmosphere of in tense intellectual activity. James Walker was the president of the college, and Lowell, Holmes, Agassiz and Longfellow were among the pro fessors. He graduated with honor in 1855, and soon after entered the Episcopal Theologi cal Seminary at Alexandria, Va. The transition from Harvard to this college was an abrupt one. The standards of the North and South were radically different. The theology of the Church in Virginia, while tolerant to that of other denominations, was uncompromisingly hostile to what it regarded as heterodox.
When the Civil War was declared he threw himself passionately into the cause of the Union. Yet his affection for his Southern classmates, men from whom he so widely differed, broad ened that charity that was one of his finest characteristics, a charity that respected convic tion wherever found. No man, in truth, ever did so much to remove prejudice against a Church that had never been popular in New England. To the old Puritan dislike of Episco pacy and distrust of the English Church as that of the oppressors of the colony was added a sense of resentment toward its sacerdotal claims and its assumption of ecclesiastical supremacy. But he nevertheless protested against the claim by his own communion to the title of "The American Church?) He preached occasionally in other pulpits, he even had among his audi ences clergymen of other denominations and he was able to reconcile men of different creeds into concord on what is essential in all. The breadth and depth of his teaching attracted so large a following that he increased the strength of the Episcopal Church in America far more than he could have done by carrying on an active propaganda in its behalf. His first charge was the church of the Advent, in Phila delphia; in two years he became rector of Holy Trinity Church in the same city. In 1869 he was called to Trinity Church, Boston, of which he was rector until his election as bishop of Massachusetts in 1891.
It is impossible to give an idea of Phillips Brooks without a word about his personality, which was almost contradictory. His command
ing figure, his wit, the charm of his conversa tion and a certain boyish gayety and natural ness drew people to him as to a powerful magnet. He was one of the best-known men in America; people pointed him out to strangers in his own city as they pointed out the Com mon and the Bunker Hill monument. When he went to England, where he preached before the Queen, men and women of all classes greeted him as a friend. They thronged the churches where he preached, not only to hear him but to see him. It was said of him that as soon as he entered a pulpit he was absolutely imper sonal. There was no trace of individual ex perience or theological conflict by which he might be labeled. He was simply a messenger of the truth as he held it, a mouthpiece of the Gospel as he believed it had been delivered to him. Although in his seminary days his ser mons were described as vague and unpractical, he was as great a preacher when under 30 years of age as at any later time. His early sermons, deliverd to his first charge in Philadelphia, dis played the same individuality, the same force and completeness and clearness of construction, the same deep, strong undertone of religious thought, as his great discourses preached in Westminster Abbey six months before his death. His sentence were sonorous; his style was char acterized by a noble simplicity, impressive, but without a touch showing that dramatic effect was strained for. He passionately loved nature in all her aspects, and traveled widely in search of the picturesque; but used his experience with reserve, and his vivid illustrations to explain human life. His treatment of Bible narratives is not a translation into the modern manner, nor is it an adaptation, but a poetical rendering, in which the flavor of the original is not lost though the lesson is made contemporary. He used figures of speech and drew freely on history and art for illustrations, but not so much to elucidate his subject as to ornament it. As might be expected of one who, in the world's best sense, was so thoroughly a man, he had great influence with young men and was one of the most popular of Harvard preachers. It was his custom for 30 alternate years to go abroad in the summer, and there, as in America, he was regarded as a great pulpit orator. He took a large view of social questions, and was in sympathy with all great popular movements His advancement to the episcopate was warmly welcomed by all parties, except one branch of his own Church with which his 'principles were at variance, and every denomination delighted in his elevation as if he were the peculiar prop erty of each. His works include 'Lectures on Preaching' ( 1877) ; ( Sermons ( 1878-81 ) ; Lectures' (1879) ; 'Baptism and Con firmation> (1880) ; 'Sermons Preached in Eng lish Churches' (1883) ; 'The Oldest Schools in America' (Boston 1885) ; 'Twenty Sermons' New York 1886) ; (Tolerance' (1887); 'The Light of the World, and Other Sermons' (1890) ; and 'Essays and Addresses' (1894). His 'Letters of Travel' show him to have been an accurate observer, with a large fund of spontaneous humor. Consult Allen, 'Life and Letters of Phillips Brooks' ; Howe, 'Phillips Brooks' (1902).