Monday, May 2, 2016

The Saints' Walk by Faith - Chapters 5 through 10

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 and (2) The Saints' Walk by Faith on Earth and by Sight in Heaven.  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, Mr. Burroughs expounds 2 Cor. 5:7.  You can see my summary for Chapters 1 to 4 here.

In Chapter 5, Mr. Burroughs gives an admonition to young converts: "It is common when God converts the soul at first that He encourages it by the sense of His love...but they do not have as much faith as others.  Take this caveat, you who are beginning in the ways of God and have sense.  Oh, lay up for a rainy day.  It's not the way of God to bring the saints to heaven the way of sense, no, but by the way of faith," (p. 108).

In Chapter 6, he notes 5 expressions of carnal hearts to show how they are acted by their own reason: (1) They lean to their own understanding, (2) They walk according to the imagination of their own hearts, (3) They walk according to their own counsels, (4) They walk according to their own thoughts, and (5) They are wise in their own eyes (p. 111-114).  "Therefore, reason is not that which should guide us in our way," (p. 114).

In Chapter 7, he states that "God has higher thoughts about man, to bring him to a higher happiness than reason can reach unto.  The outward sense are too low to guide a man who would live like a rational creature," (p. 115).

In Chapter 8, Mr. Burroughs shows us the corrupt principles of those who are guided by reason:
  1. "It is not good for a man to engage himself too far in any cause," (p. 117).
  2. "It is not good to cross the stream and course of the tide where I live," (p. 117).
  3. "Corrupt reason says not to venture present things for future ones, and certain things for uncertain things," (p. 118).
  4. "It's not likely that a poor, contemptible man should come to understand more than the learned rabbis and grandees of the world," (p. 118).
  5. "To be happy, poor, and persecuted are inconsistent," (p. 119).
  6. "Good meanings and performances of good duties are sufficient to make one acceptable to God," (p. 119).
  7. "The zeal and forwardness that there is in some beyond others must come from the hypocrite," (p. 119).

In Chapter 9, he gives us spiritual truths that are above the light of men's reason:
  1. "The necessity of a new birth, of regeneration," (p. 121).
  2. "The more a man prospers, if he is wicked, the more cursed he is," (p. 121).
  3. "That God should work the worst of things that befall the saints for good unto them, though it is ever so cross and ill to them, is above the light of reason," (p. 121).
  4. "The greatest riches that any man can have in the world consist in the promises [in the Word of God]," (p. 121).
  5. "All the world is vanity," (p. 122).
  6. "We must be righteous by the righteousness of another [Jesus Christ]," (p. 122).
  7. "The foundation of all happiness is self-denial and mortification," (p. 122).
  8. "There is greater evil in the least sin than there is in the greatest affliction," (p. 122).

Finally, in Chapter 10, Mr. Burroughs lists the danger of men walking by reason:
  1. "The way that God has set for your eternal life is a way that is above reason," (p. 124).
  2. "Walking according to it [reason] turns that which is an excellent thing in itself to be a mischief to you," (p. 126).
  3. "You who have weak natural parts, do not be discouraged, for perhaps if you had had greater natural parts you might never have come to the understanding of spiritual things as you have now," (p. 127)
  4. "There is further evil in it [reason]: It makes men very slight in Scriptural duties," (p. 127).
  5. "Those who go according to the principles of reason may make an outlet upon some work that God sets them about, but...they will never go through it," (p. 128).
  6. "If ever God works grace upon any, they [who rely on reason] will be more full of doubts and fears and perplexities than others are," (p. 128).

"But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.  So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels," (Psalm 81:11-12).