Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Good Conscience is a Continual Feast

Reading slowly through Jeremiah Burroughs' The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment has indeed been a continual feast. While I have fallen woefully behind on the Puritan Reading Challenge, I am still chewing my way through the Rare Jewel and finding there much to savor.

"To be content as a result of some external thing is like warming a man's clothes by the fire. But to be content through an inward disposition of the soul is like the warmth that a man's clothes have from the natural heat of his body."

"All outward peace is not enough, I must have the peace of God. But suppose you have the peace of God, will that not quiet you? No, I must have the God of peace; as the peace of God, so the God of peace. That is, I must enjoy that God who gives me the peace; I must have the Cause as well as the effect. I must see from whence my peace comes, and enjoy the Fountain of my peace, as well as the stream of my peace."

"Every good thing the people of God enjoy, they enjoy it in God's love, and coming from God's eternal love for them, and this must needs be very sweet to them."

"Not only in good things does a Christian have the dew of God's blessing, and find them very sweet to him, but in all the afflictions, all the evils that befall him, he can see love, and can enjoy the sweetness of love in his afflictions as well as in his mercies. The truth is that the afflictions of God's people come from the same eternal love that Jesus Christ came from."

"This is the art of arts, and the science of sciences, the knowledge of knowledges, to understand this, that God when he will bring life, brings it out of death, he brings joy out of sorrow, and he brings prosperity out of adversity, yea and many times brings grace out of sin, that is, makes use of sin to work furtherance of grace. It is the way of God to bring all good out of evil, not only to overcome the evil, but to make the evil work toward the good. Now when the soul comes to understand this, it will take away our murmuring and bring contentment into our spirits."

"What is Heaven, but the rest and quiet of a man's spirit; that is the special thing that makes the life of Heaven, there is rest and joy, and satisfaction in God. So it is in a contented spirit: there is rest and joy and satisfaction in God. In Heaven there is singing praises to God; a contented heart is always praising and blessing God. You have Heaven while you are on earth when you have a contented spirit; yea, in some regards it is better than Heaven."

There is so much more wealth in this jem of a book, yet if I continue I will have merely an abridged copy to post instead of nuggets.

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