Friday, May 25, 2012


Jeremiah Burroughs was a Puritan preacher in England that was greatly used of God. He was tutored in school by Thomas Hooker, a man who later emigrated to America, and founded the state of Connecticut. Burroughs  wrote a number of books in his time including a commentary on Hosea, and The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. This excerpt is from his book  A Treatise of Earthly-Mindedness.

They can be so content with so little in this world and can live such comfortable lives in the enjoyment of so little. Perhaps you cannot tell how to have comfortable lives unless you have so much coming in each year, so much provision. But one who is heavenly, a godly man or woman can tell how to live a joyful and happy life in the lack of the things of this world. Though they have only a little, just bread and water, mean habitations, mean clothes, low esteem in the world, they can still go through the world with a joyful heart, blessing God all their days.

There are many poor and low people in this world whose houses are filled more with the blessings of God in one day than many a rich, noble, great men have in twenty or forty years. This argues that they have their conversations in heaven, that though they lack comfort in this world, yet they can live comfortable lives. Surely it is something that causes them to rejoice, when they can rejoice in the lack of outward things, when there joy does not depend on the things of this world.

If men who have earthly hearts lose even their outward comforts they cry out "O we are undone!" And you might see mighty alterations in their countenances. They have nothing to cheer their hearts when they lose the things of this world, but it is not so with the saints. Whatever crosses they meet with in this world, yet they still rejoice in Christ, blessing God. A man that has nothing to do with another country is like a dead man there, he goes there with little joy. But a man who has been trading in another country and has great riches and has thrives there, whatever he seems to be here he is a great man there! O how comfortably does that man go to that country.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The first proposition that I shall lay down concerning assurance is this, That God denies assurance for a time to his dearest and choicest ones, and that upon many considerable grounds.

(1.) As, first, for the exercise of their grace. A gracious soul would always be upon mount Tabor, looking into Canaan; he would always be in his Father’s arms, and under his Father’s smiles; he would always be in the sunshine of divine favour;[1] he would always have the heavens open, that be might always see his Christ and his crown; he would with Peter be always upon the mount; he is loath to walk through the valley of darkness, through the valley of Baca. As the king of Sodom said once to Abraham, “Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself,” Gen 14:21; so gracious souls are apt to say, Give me joy, give me peace, give me assurance, and do you take trials, afflictions, and temptations to yourselves. But pray, what use would there be of the stars, if the sun did always shine? Why, none. Why, no more use would there be of your graces, if assurance should be always continued; therefore the Lord, for the exercise of his children’s faith, hope, patience, etc., is pleased, at least for a time, to deny them assurance, though they seek it by earnest prayer, and with a flood of penitent tears.

(2.) The Lord denies assurance to his dearest ones, that he may keep them in the exercise of those religious duties that are most costly and contrary to flesh and blood, as to mourning, repenting, self-judging, self-loathing, self abhorring, and self-searching; as Lam 1:16, “For these things I weep: mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me;” Lam 3:2-3, “He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, not into light. Surely against me he is turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day;” Lam 3:17, “And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.” Now, what this sad dealings of God puts the church upon you may see in Lam 3:40. “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.”  And if you look throughout the book, you shall find the church much in self-examining, self-judging, self-loathing, etc., upon this ground, that God had hid his face, and drawn a curtain between him and them, and stood at a distance from them, and would not speak comfortably and friendly to them.
—Thomas Brooks From “Heaven on Earth”

Saturday, May 5, 2012


         Some little time ago, after the conclusion of one of Mr. Brownlow North's addresses in Edinburgh a young man came into the room where he was receiving persons anxious for private conversation, and said to him, "I have heard you preach three times, sir, and I neither care for you nor your preaching unless you can tell me why did God permit sin." "I will do that with pleasure," was the immediate reply,—"Because He chose to." The young man, apparently taken by surprise, stood speechless; and Mr. North again replied, "Because He chose to; and," added he, "if you continue to question and cavil at God's dealings, and vainly puffed up by your carnal mind, strive to be wise above what is written, I will tell you something more that God will do,—He will some day put you into hell-fire. It is vain for you to strive with your Maker—you cannot resist Him; and neither your opinion of His dealings, nor your blasphemous expression of them, will in the least lessen the pain of your everlasting damnation, which, I again tell you, will most certainly be your portion if you go on in your present spirit.

         There were such questioners as you in St. Paul's time, and how did the apostle answer them? “Nay, but O man, who art thou that replied against God” (Romans 9:20).
         The young man here interrupted Mr. North, and said, "Is there such a text as that in the Bible?" "Yes, there is," was the reply, "in the ninth chapter of the Romans; and I recommend you to go home and read that chapter; and after you have read it, and seen there how God claims for Himself the right to do whatever He chooses, without permitting the thing formed to say to Him that formed it, 'Why hast Thou made me thus?’ Remember that, besides permitting sin, there is another thing God has chosen to do, — God chose to send Jesus. Of His own free and sovereign grace God gave His only begotten Son to die for sinners in their stead—in their place; so that, though they are sinners, and have done things worthy of death, not one of them shall ever be cast into hell for his sins who will receive Jesus as his only Saviour, and believe in Him and rest in His Word. I have no time to say more to you now: others are waiting to see me. Go home, attend to what I have told you, and may God the Holy Spirit bless it for Jesus Christ sake."

         This conversation took place on Sunday evening. On the following Friday, Mr. North was sitting in a friend's drawing room, when the servant announced that a young man wanted to speak to him. On being shown upstairs, he said, "Do you remember me?" "No." "Do you not remember the young man who on Sunday night asked you to tell him 'why did God permit sin'?" "Yes, perfectly." "Well, sir, I am that young man; and you said that God permitted sin because He chose to, and you told me to go home and read the ninth chapter of Romans; and also that God chose to send Jesus to die for such sinners as I am; and I did, sir, what you told me, and afterwards I fell down at God's feet and asked Him to forgive my sins, because Jesus died for me, and He did; and now I am happy—oh! so happy, sir; and though the devil still comes sometimes to tempt me with my old thoughts, and to ask me what reason I have to think God has forgiven me, I have always managed to get him away by telling him that I do not want to judge things by my own reason, but by God's Word, and that the only reason why I know I am forgiven, is that for Christ's sake, God chooses to pardon me.

         The changed expression of the young man's countenance was quite sufficient to account for Mr. North's not knowing him again. It was radiant with joy and peace.
         Dear reader, the first lesson a poor sinner has to learn, is to trust in the Lord, and not to his own understanding; to trust God not only for what he does understand, and for what is explained, but for what he does not understand, and for what is not explained. This is faith, and such faith honors God and saves the soul. This is receiving the kingdom of God as a little child; and let us ever remember that it is written (and the scripture cannot be broken), that unless we receive the kingdom of God as a little child, we shall in no wise enter therein.
         "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5: 8.)
         (Copied from an old tract in my files- author unknown)- (emphasis mine-cmw)
         Brownlow North was known as the great Evangelist of 19th century Scotland. God’s hand was on him in unusual way. When converted at age 45, he had been a sinful playboy, but went on to be remembered as one who spoke to the common man. Several books of his sermons have been published, but all seem to be presently out of print. The best are “The Rich Man and Lazarus” and “Wilt Thou Go with This Man?” You may find used copies at Here is a link to a brief biographical article about Brownlow North.