Item description for The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (Puritan Paperbacks) by Jeremiah Burroughs...
Overview We live our lives in a discontented world and it is all too easy for the Christian to share its spirit. This book remedies this spiritual disease in practical biblical ways.
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Studio: The Banner of Truth Trust
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.22" Width: 4.8" Height: 0.56" Weight: 0.52 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 1981
Publisher The Banner of Truth Trust
Series Puritan Paperbacks
ISBN 0851510914 ISBN13 9780851510910
Availability 0 units.
More About Jeremiah Burroughs
Jeremiah Burroughs (1600-1646) was an English Congregationalist and a well-known Puritan preacher. Burroughs studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and was graduated M.A. in 1624, but left the university because of non-conformity. He was assistant to Edmund Calamy at Bury St. Edmunds, and in 1631 became rector of Tivetshall, Norfolk. He was suspended for non-conformity in 1636 and soon afterward deprived, he went toRotterdam (1637) and became "teacher" of the English church there. He returned to England in 1641 and served as preacher at Stepney and Cripplegate, London. He was a member of the Westminster Assembly and one of the few who opposed the Presbyterian majority. While one of the most distinguished of the English Independents, he was one of the most moderate, acting consistently in accordance with the motto on his study door (in Latin and Greek): "Difference of belief and unity of believers are not inconsistent."
Jeremiah Burroughs was born in 1599 and died in 1646.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment?
You'll need to be discerning here May 16, 2008
In Philippians 4:11, Paul says, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am"; he will not be swayed by the afflictions of living with much, or living with little--giving note to the fact that there are heavy afflictions in both circumstances. This is the subject and the work of Jeremiah Burroughs in his classic text, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. Originally published in 1648, Contentment later underwent some language modernization and was most recently republished by Banner of Truth as a part of their Puritan Paperbacks series.
I finished the text today and have some mixed feelings regarding Burroughs' thoughts on the topic. Burroughs' text focuses on attempting to unpack Paul's words to the Philippians. What does it mean to be "content"? How can that be achieved? What are the implications upon a content person's life? What if we're not content? Burroughs answers all of these questions quite clearly--sometimes too clearly. Unfortunately, at times his answers, well, just aren't really satisfactory considering the evidence.
Burroughs begins by defining contentment. After reading the first chapter (slowly), there was still a bit of ambiguity concerning what exactly it means for a person to be "content". I ended up attempting to draw conclusions of Burroughs' definition from the coming context of the book. Unfortunately, it still wasn't especially clear. It seems after finishing the book that Burroughs' means to say that contentment is a sense of being okay with, satisfied in, not needing more than, whatever physical circumstance we may find ourselves in. This seems to be a relatively obvious interpretation of Paul's words to the Philippians, however, Burroughs doesn't always sound like that's what he means when talking about contentment. Perhaps its generational.
Burroughs flows through a kind of rocky path of exploration. He begins with a definition of contentment, flows into how mysterious and miraculous a thing it is (although, doesn't seem to designate it as something Christians can exclusively enjoy), then moves into the modes of teaching Christ employs when instructing his people. Following that, he goes on to explain the `excellence' of being content. Up until this point, I tracked quite well and often added audible "hmm" noises to my reading. Following his bit on contentment's excellence, he moves into the sin of not being content, or as he puts it, the sin of a `murmuring' spirit. It's at this point that things began to swing a bit out of balance--at least in terms of the whole of scripture.
Burroughs makes the point well that contentment is a duty. We ought to fight for it, seek it, labor to attain it. It is also convincing that to be discontented is sinful and we should not be okay with that kind of ingratitude. Unfortunately though, Burroughs' bit on sin, unlike many of his contemporaries, seems never to really call back to the work of Christ on the cross. Frankly, I was a bit astonished. He had a great deal to say about God's wrath and his wrath poured out on the discontented, worldly heart. But strikingly little to say about the great ocean of wrath poured out on the dying Jesus on behalf of his bride, who would undoubtedly struggle to achieve contentment all her days.
His definition of `murmuring' is also a bit unclear. At times it seems that he means some deeper heart condition that is out of rest and ungrateful toward God. However, at other times, it seems that his definition might mean something more like complaining. At times of the latter, it's hard not to call to memory David's psalms, which are flooded with complaints.
When finally emerging from those chapters on the evils of discontent, Burroughs' returns to more useful discourse. Namely a conversation about how people regularly will excuse themselves from guilt in discontentment, followed by a clear and practical discussion of how to achieve contentment.
Much of Burroughs' text was convicting and inspiring. Some of it was discouraging and frankly, out of balance. However, while I disagree with a good chunk of his thoughts, even in the midst of questionable things, there are to be found nuggets of really good insights. I think unlike some of the other books in the Puritan Paperbacks collection, this one may be written more directly to its specific time period. Not that contentment isn't ageless duty, but rather his method and tone may not be suited well for all time periods.
Because of my own reservations, I don't recommend this book unless your up for the challenge of discerning and scrutinizing the text. If that is something you're up for, there's some excellent insight to be gained here. If you're not up for that, may I recommend anything written by John Piper; God willing, the intended effect will be much the same.
best book I read in 2007 Feb 8, 2008
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment is the best book I read during 2007. It caused me to think about whether I was really content with the circumstances God had given me or not in a way that is not the common teaching heard in this century. It was originally written in the 1600s so it takes concentrated thought to read it but it is a great way to take your mind off the exercise bike at the gym.
Content in all of life Dec 10, 2007
I read this book shortly after my mom died of cancer. I was frustrated and annoyed with where I was, the job I had, and a million other things. God used Burroughs' powerful book to be the single greatest influence in helping me to work through that.
Burroughs shows how our desires are a sphere, like the earth's atmosphere. Our possessions (who we are, what we have, our station in life) are a smaller sphere within the first. To attain contentment, we must understand God in such a way as to shrink our desires to match our possessions, because we understand that God knows that what we have is exactly what we need. This continual shrinking of desires helps us to love and enjoy all the wonderous things God has given us. The further we go on this path, the smaller our sphere of desires becomes, until eventually we realize that we deserve nothing we have, and can only praise God with gratefulness for all he has given.
Read this book when you are hurt. Read it when you are tired. Read it when you are frustrated. Read it when your dreams are deflated and deferred, like "A Raisin in the Sun." God will bring you contentment.
Life Changing Jun 20, 2007
This book was life changing for me. I was sure I understood contentment and after the first several chapters could not fathom what more Burroughs could have to say for another 100 pages. By the end of the book I understood God and my relationship to him more deeply than anything I have read short of direct study of the Word.
Bring your reading glasses Jun 6, 2007
I would like to be able to read this book. I am sure it is a treasure. However, the print is so small that it is offensive. I am sorry to say that I am discontent with the quality of the printing.