|5 out of 5 stars|
The Puritan Treasures for Today series seeks to introduce modern readers to the timeless writings of Christians who were a lot more spiritual and a lot less snobbish than is commonly depicted by our culture. These writings are shorter than the daunting treatises we may normally associate with writers from bygone eras, and the language, with the exception of direct quotations of the Bible and other brief dialogue, is updated to modern usage, such as using “you” and “your” instead of “thee” and “thine.” The effect is not unlike picking up the New King James Version of the Bible and comparing it to the King James Version.
This particular work by Jeremiah Burroughs (1599–1646), is especially relevant to modern readers in western nations. Consumerism dominates our way of thinking, and recent economic uncertainty has helped expose our strong dependence on and lack of contentment with our personal financial portfolio. Burroughs’ time may not have been as distant from ours as we might suppose. Near the start of the book we read from Burroughs, “We live here in such a way that, although we may not be as full now as we have been in the past, it may still be said of us that we are full in comparison to our brothers in other parts of the world.”
In Philippians 4:11-12 the Apostle Paul says, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Burroughs looks at this statement and considers what it means to abound, not merely to have an abundance, but to live abundantly, and also what it means to be full and how this all bears on our Christian walk.
Burroughs book transcends the barriers between his day and ours because he speaks biblical truth into the lives of his readers. Personal finances—the accrual, management, and expenditure of wealth—is something we tend to consider a very private matter, but it is not so private as to be untouched by the word of God. Burroughs was convinced that the greater the resources at a person’s disposal, the greater his responsibility before God. Wealth and fullness (that is, having enough to meet your needs), bring their own set of temptations and trials, as well as opportunities, into the life of a believer.
With such a multitude of works to chose from for this series, I am happy that Burroughs’ work on Contentment, Prosperity, and God’s Glory was included. Never having known anything about him or his writings before picking up the book, I can say that it is every bit as valuable as the diamonds and pearls that grace its cover. I have a new appreciation for the many blessings God has brought into my life and a solemn awareness of my own need for grace as I seek to minister God’s provision for His glory.
I received this book for the purposes of writing a review. The opinions expressed are my own.