Jeremiah Burroughs, Hudson Taylor, and Pastor Hart

I think I have reading ADD (for non-fiction). I pick up a book, read some chapters and then pick up another book and do the same. My grandfather was a reader, too. He had a huge library in his home and, after he died, I was able to keep some of his books. I remember that he would go with my grandmother to the mall (alot) and take along a book he was reading and just find a seat and read all afternoon while my grandmother shopped. He was dedicated to reading and to my grandmother, but I think he also had reading ADD. Most of the books that I have that belonged to him are heavily noted and underlined for the first third or half of the book and then the underlining stops.

My reading ADD has me reading Jeremiah Burroughs lately in two different books. I have been reading The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment for the ‘Read the Puritans for a year’ series. I have a week left to finish. Burroughs is so thorough in this book that I am convicted in every area – To realize the sin of discontent and to seek to learn (as Burroughs says we must do) Christian contentment – Philippians 4:11. He starts with this statement: “Contentment is the inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, freely submitting to and taking pleasure in God’s disposal in every condition.” He then takes each point and spends considerable time discussing how it is inward, quiet, gracious, a frame of spirit, and so on… To some it may seem tedious but it is that methodical treatment of the statement that brings it to life and convicts me. I would be quick to read over the sentence and move on. It is good to read why contentment must be inward – “Many sit silently, refraining from discontented expressions, yet inwardly they are bursting with discontent.” and “If the attainment of true contentment were as easy as keeping quiet outwardly, it would not need much learning.” Then Burroughs discusses what an inward contentment is not opposed to and what it is opposed to. And this is all just in the first word of his statement!

The other Jeremiah Burroughs book I picked up is “The Excellency of a Gracious Spirit“. We just got it in the mail (E-B*y). Al was looking through it and left it on the table, which makes it fair game! Here are a couple of quotes…

“It is the glory of God to be the first cause and last end, and to work from Himself and for Himself. No creature can work from itself, but as it has its principle from God so it works for Him, giving Him the glory as the first cause and last end. And this is the great worship that God has from His creature, both in this world, and eternally in heaven.”

What a great statement about our worship of God! If what we consider as worship and service does not somehow reflect that, it is not worship of God.

And my last quote (I hope you’ve read this far because this is what spurred on my post)…

“Where God is aimed at as the highest end, there God’s glory is willed infinitely; no limit, no bounds are set to the desires or endeavors of the soul after it.”

Wow. Does that sound familiar to the ABC’ers that read this? It reminds me of Hudson Taylor’s ‘When God’s work is done in God’s way for God’s glory, it will not lack for God’s supply’ that we hear so often from the pulpit by Pastor Hart.

Burroughs, Taylor, and Pastor Hart reject a pragmatic (ends justify the means or, if it works, it must be truth) approach to the work and glory of God. Actually, this shows that the ends inspire and empower the means. As we aim at God’s glory at the end, He supplies the means and the abilities and is glorified in both the means and end! It is another example of God using the foolish to confound the wise. We need to be so careful of patterning our worship and methods and ways after the world because it looks like it works. Lets aim for God’s glory at the highest end!

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