Last summer I decided to re-read Earthly-Mindedness by Jeremiah Burroughs and discuss his points chapter-by-chapter. This book was reprinted in 1991 by Soli Deo Gloria Publications and contains "A Treatise of Earthly-Mindedness" (first published in 1649) and "The Second Treatise on a Heavenly Conversation."
The Scripture verses underlying both of Mr. Burroughs' treatises are found in Paul's epistle to the Philippians: "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ," (Phil. 3:17-20).
The disposition of the wicked (those who set themselves up against the gospel) is to mind earthly things. The disposition of the godly is to converse in heaven. Therefore, the doctrine set forth in this book is that "This is the great difference between a wicked man and a godly man: One minds earthly things, and the other has his conversation in heaven."
I started summarizing "A Treatise of Earthly-Mindedness" here. Now I will post chapter summaries for "The Second Treatise on a Heavenly Conversation."
In Chapter 1 of his second treatise on heavenly conversation, Mr. Burroughs shows how far the examples of godly men should prevail with us.
Godly examples should:
- Prevail with us more than other examples of learned men, rich men, the multitudes, or relatives
- Be enough to take off prejudices that come from accusations of men
- Make us inquire after those ways and to examine whether they have any footing in the Word
- Make us take heed that we do not oppose those ways unless we have clear ground to the contrary
- Prepare us to let in any truth which they possess and practice
- Confirm and settle us in the truth
Godly men should be a great encouragement to Christians and strengthen them as they walk with their faces toward heaven. I will look at what's to be done when examples of godly men are contrary in Chapter 2, the rebuke of those who follow wicked examples in Chapter 3, and two doctrines from the text in Chapter 4.
"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ," (Phil. 3:20).