Jeremiah Burroughs

Recommendation:  5/5

Description of author:  Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646), one of the most readable of the English Puritans, was a pastor in London and was chosen to be one of the Westminster Assembly of Divines.

Comments:  The more that I have read of Jeremiah Burroughs, the more I have come to appreciate his profound thoughts, expressed clearly and humbly.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, at times it was convicting and at other times it was confirming, but always helpful.  The book consists of fourteen sermons ostensibly on Leviticus 10:3.  He seeks to answer the question, ‘How do we sanctify God in worship?’  Throughout we are reminded of the seriousness of worship, whether in public or private.  Following are some typical quotes:  Though the lives of men are dear and precious to God, yet they are not so precious as His glory.  The glory of His name is a thousand thousand times more dear unto God than the lives of thousands and thousands of people (p. 26).  Hypocrites, above all men, may expect the most severe judgments of God upon them because they come so nigh God, for they come often to the duties of God’s worship.  Now they who will come so nigh God’s presence, and come with base and ungodly hearts to cloak their villainy, of all in the world they must expect to have the most severe vengeance of God let down upon them (p. 38).   Those who are most familiar with God are most potent with God.  A stranger cannot prevail in any petition like a familiar friend can.  Thus, my brethren, when strangers come into God’s presence, God does not regard them as much; but when His familiar ones come into His presence, the saints of God who keep close with Him in constant communion and converse in the duties of His worship, God takes them as His familiar friends, and they will prevail with God (p. 44).   When you come to perform holy duties, if you would sanctify God’s name, you must consecrate yourselves to God.  There must be a resignation of soul and body, estate, liberty, name, and all you are, have, or can do unto God.  This is to sanctify God’s name, when you consecrate yourselves to God.  Professing this in the performance of duty, when you are to pray, would be a very good thing, to actually profess yourselves to be God’s, to profess that you give up all that you are, have, or can do to God: ‘Lord, I am Thy servant.  Take all faculties of soul and members of body and improve all.  Lay out all to Thine own praise to the uttermost to bring glory to Thy great name.’  If every time you came to God in prayer you did this, this would be to sanctify yourselves to God (p. 107).  The more we sanctify His name, the more we shall be in love with worship.  For it is from hence that those who sanctify God’s name in worship will hold out, because they will find the sweetness of worship.  They will meet with God in holy duties and so come to be encouraged in worship (p. 128).  Perhaps the only part of the book that I would not whole-heartedly agree with is his view of the sacraments (as conveying grace in some sense – see sermons 11-13).  Yet much that he says in regard to the solemness of partaking of the Lord’s Table is directly applicable to Baptists!  Although he thinks it improper to sing while receiving the bread and the cup (p. 260-61), he gives some excellent ideas regarding meditation at the Lord’s Table (p. 262-68).  On the whole this is an excellent reminder of the sobriety and joy of true worship of the Living God.