Monday, April 25, 2016

The Saints' Walk by Faith - Chapters 1 through 4

I'm reading Faith by Jeremiah Burroughs and decided to blog the hidden treasures within this book.  It is one book that contains two of Burroughs' treatises: (1) Precious Faith: A Treatise on 2 Peter 1:1 - "To them that have obtained a like precious faith," and (2) The Saints' Walk by Faith on Earth and by Sight in Heaven: A Treatise on 2 Cor. 5:7 - "For we walk by faith, not by sight."  Both treatises were first published in 1654.  In 2011, they were edited by Dr. Don Kistler and reprinted into one book by Northampton Press.

In his second treatise on 'The Saints' Walk by Faith on Earth and by Sight in Heaven' , Mr. Burroughs expounds 2 Corinthians 5:7 and specifically looks at:

Chapter 1 - The Scope and Meaning of the Words
Chapter 2 - The Text Opened
Chapter 3 - The Great Evil of Walking by Sense
Chapter 4 - The Saints Do Not Walk by Sense
Chapter 5 - An Admonition to Young Converts
Chapter 6 - Worldly Men Walk According to What They Apprehend to Be Reason
Chapter 7 - Reason Is Not That Which Should Guide a Christian
Chapter 8 - Reason Carries Men Upon Corrupt Principles
Chapter 9 - Spiritual Truths Are Above the Light of Natural Reason
Chapter 10 - The Danger of Men Walking by Reason
Chapter 11 - The Application of the Doctrine
Chapter 12 - Saints Can Expect Greater Glory Than They Understand
Chapter 13 - The Walk of a Saint on Earth Is the Walk of Faith
Chapter 14 - The Saints In All Ages Have Walked by Faith
Chapter 15 - The Necessity of Walking by Faith
Chapter 16 - The Excellence of Faith
Chapter 17 - The Exhortation to Strengthen Faith
Chapter 18 - Help For the Soul In Walking by Faith
Chapter 19 - Encouragements to the Soul In Walking by Faith
Chapter 20 - Motives to Draw the Heart to Believe in the Want of Sense
Chapter 21 - More Motives to Stir Up Weak Believers to Exercise Their Faith When They Want Sense
Chapter 22 - Directions For the Exercise of Faith In the Want of Sense
Chapter 23 - Further Directions for the Exercise of Faith in the Want of Sense
Chapter 24 - Helps to Walk by Faith When God Appears as an Enemy to the Soul
Chapter 25 - Encouragement For a Saint When God Lets the Devil Out Upon Him
Chapter 26 - Saints Must Walk by Faith In Times of Affliction
Chapter 27 - More Ways Faith Helps the Soul In Times of Affliction
Chapter 28 - Exhortation to Exercise Faith In the Evil Day

In Chapter 1, Mr. Burroughs explains the meaning of 'we walk':  "That is, the constant course of our hearts and of our lives is acted and guided by faith, and not by sight...Sight is taken either largely for sense, not only of the eye, but for all other senses both internal and external, one being put for all...as carnal sense: We do not walk according to what we see with our eyes before us...we do not walk by spiritual sense either, that is, in what we feel in respect of spiritual things...we are guided and acted by faith, for that's the higher principle.  Again, by 'sight' is not only meant sense, but reason...First, carnal reason.  We do not walk according to the carnal reason of our minds, as if we were acted by nothing else but what we apprehend by our own natural reason.  Second, we do not walk by our spiritual reason only, for we have a principle beyond spiritual knowledge...our faith goes beyond our sense of the presence of God and goes beyond our knowledge of God," (pp. 83-85).

In Chapter 2, he emphatically states that "[a] Christian does not walk by sight...other men walk by sight, but those that are saints do not," (p. 86).  "Now those who are carnal and natural, the end that they propound to themselves is some sensual good.  They judge things according to sense, and their hearts are taken and affected with things according as they are to sense," (pp. 86-87).  "[E]very man who does not have the Spirit of God to act and guide him is sensual and led according to sense," (p. 88).

In Chapter 3, Mr. Burroughs notes that "this is a very great evil, for men to have their hearts taken by what they see with their eyes, and by what their senses tells them to be pleasant and delightful to them," (p. 91).  "There is a great evil in this, to go according to the sight of eyes, for these reasons: (1) It is beneath a rational creature, (2) [It is] beneath the Holy Spirit of God, (3) [It makes those who walk by sight] liable to thousands and thousands of temptations continually, and (4) Those who live according to the sense live without God in the world," (pp. 91-94). 

In Chapter 4, he contends that "the saints do not walk according to the sight of their eyes, nor according to sense.  No, they have mortified the flesh and crucified the lusts of it.  The work of grace consists in mortifying the flesh and beating down the body," (p. 100).  Then, he charges the Christian: "You have given liberty to your eyes to look after vanity, to the eyes of your body and the thoughts after this idle thing and the other vain thing.  This is enough to deaden your hearts in that which is good, and you will never have a quick and lively spirit in that which is good until you come to make conscience of looking after vanity.  Therefore, pray to God to turn your eyes away from beholding vanity so that you may be quicker in the Law of God, in the ways of holiness," (p. 101).

I will look at chapters 5 through 10 in my next post.


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"Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)," (2 Cor. 5:6-7).