|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series in chronological order.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains one manuscript (1872) and one typewritten copy (1958) of Brooks's sermon entitled "For We Can Do Nothing against the Truth but for the Truth, based on II Corinthians 12:8." The manuscript includes pencil emendations and the typewritten copy includes text indicating that it was typed for the Reverend Bayard Clark, St. Bartholomew's Church, Nashville, Tennessee.
Burke Library record group:
Union Theological Seminary Archives: UTS 1, papers of faculty and students
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item Description, UTS1: Phillips Brooks papers, 1872-1958, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Harvard University holds a number of collections relating to Phillips Brooks, both in its University Archives and in the Houghton Library.
The Phillips Brooks papers are part of the Union Theological Seminary Archives, which comprises institutional and administrative records of the Seminary, combined with the papers of many organizations, scholars, pastors, laypersons, and others connected with the school.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The manuscript sermon was donated to the UTS Archives by Gertrude Brooks, a niece of Phillips Brooks, through Henry Sloane Coffin in 1929. The exact provenance of the typed sermon is unknown.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Sermons were cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-07. The Brooks papers were among a large group of papers that were organized in 2015 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation; materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. The finding aid was created by Katherine Palm in 2015 and edited by Leah Edelman in 2020.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Phillips Brooks was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 13, 1835 to William Gray Brooks, a lineal descendant of the Reverend John Cotton, and Mary Ann Phillips, a member of the prominent Phillips family, which had in prior generations included several Puritan ministers and a Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts. Brooks was baptized in Boston's First Church as a Unitarian Congregationalist, but following the family's removal to St. Paul's Church on Tremont Street, was reared in the Episcopalian faith. He completed his early education at the Boston Latin School and went on to Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1855. In September 1855, Brooks returned as an usher to teach at Boston Latin School, where he remained only until February 1856. Changing course, he matriculated at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, residing there for three years, during a period of rising tensions leading up to the Civil War.
Following ordination on July 1, 1859, he began his first rectorship at the Church of the Advent in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was next called to the Holy Trinity Church, also of Philadelphia, where he served from 1862 to 1869. In connection with his rectorship there, Brooks became an overseer of the newly established Philadelphia Divinity School. During the war his sermons touched upon issues of national import, and were sometimes of a then-controversial nature, such as his Thanksgiving sermon of 1864, in which he argued for suffrage for all freedmen. In October 1869, Brooks returned to Boston as Rector of Trinity Church. He also took on other roles in the wider community. In 1870, he was elected as an overseer of Harvard College. The following year Brooks was appointed to the State Board of Education and became a member of the Examining Committee of the Boston Public Library. In 1874, as a member of its Central Committee, he helped choose topics and speakers for the inaugural American Church Congress.
In his later years, Brooks made several voyages abroad, visiting Europe and Asia, and spending particular time in England, where he preached in Westminster Abbey and before Queen Victoria. In 1891, he was elected Bishop of Massachusetts, although his tenure was brief, as on January 23, 1893 he succumbed to a short illness after serving for only a few months. Brooks never married and was survived by two of his brothers. He was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The published works of Brooks include his Lectures on Preaching (given at Yale College in 1877) and several volumes of sermons. Brooks is a well known representative preacher of the Episcopalian "broach-church tradition."