Monday, June 20, 2016

The Saints' Walk by Faith - Chapters 17 through 19

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, Chapters 5 to 10 here, Chapters 11 to 13 here, and Chapters 14 to 16 here.

In Chapter 17, Mr. Burroughs exhorts Christians to strengthen their faith.  He states: "If you do not walk by faith you will lose your way quickly; you will lose sight of the end of your faith and that will discourage you, and then you will lose your very way itself, and you will be mightily ensnared and be ready to be drawn out of your way and stumble therein, if you do not exercise faith.  But by faith you will keep in sight the end of your way, and keep your way, and be delivered from stumbling blocks, from snares in your way," (p. 179).

In Chapter 18, he gives eight principles for helping the soul to walk by faith:
  1. "Whatever my case is, yet I have to deal with God, with the infinite and glorious God, who has the compass of all things before Him, who does not only look upon things that are now present, but with one view He sees all the whole frame and latitude of things...The great reason why men do  not believe, and when sense and reason is at a stop and their hearts sink, is because they look no higher than themselves; they do not look at God who has the compass of all things in His view," (pp. 184-85).
  2. "We are more to rely upon a word than upon a work of God.  That is a principle that would be a mighty help to faith...God's Word is more to be rested upon than the works of God, for God puts His Word as an object of our faith, but God never makes any single work of His to be an object of our faith," (pp. 185-86).
  3. "[T]he soul that has union with God, and has their portion in the Almighty, has the quintessence and virtue and efficacy of all creatures in God Himself," (p. 187).
  4. "All creatures that we look upon, those that may afford us any help, all their power depends upon God.  They have neither power to do good or hurt any further than God gives out His power and concurs with them...He has the absolute command of all," (pp. 187-88).
  5. "God delights in working (and especially for His servants) beyond all means of all creatures and contrary to all means, above all means, without means, and contrary unto means," (p. 188).
  6. "God, in His dealings toward His people, seldom does any great matters for them but He puts the sentence of death first upon it before it's done.  He does not usually come to help till just before they are ready to die, until all seems gone; then their extremity is His opportunity...Hope is never elevated higher than when our state in the eyes of all men is at its lowest," (pp. 189-90).
  7. "Whatever promise we have in all the Book of God, to any particular of the people of God, that promise may every godly man apply unto himself, being in the same condition that he was in," (p. 190).
  8. "There is no condition that any of the people of God can be in, no condition so dark and so wanting comfort, as is a sufficient plea for unbelief.  Though your condition is never so dark and dismal in your own eyes, yet, remember, it can never be so dark, so dismal, so void of comfort, of helps, as should give you any ground for your unbelief," (p. 191).  "[T]he Holy Spirit speaks of two things that godly people in their greatest weakness may find: First, the fear of God is upon their hearts...Second, they obey the voice of His servants [the authority of His Word], (p. 192).
In Chapter 19, Mr. Burroughs encourages the soul in walking by faith by giving these encouragements:
  1. "God offers Himself unto those to whom the gospel comes, so as He is willing to deal with them in the way of a covenant of grace and not a covenant of works...I verily believe that this is the main ground that holds many under a spirit of bondage and causes them to walk in a disconsolate and distressed condition, and not walk to by faith, because they look upon God as having to deal with Him in the way of a covenant of works," (pp. 193-94).
  2. "All the good that God does for His creatures, especially in order to eternal life, is for His own name's sake," (p. 195).
  3. "There are no qualifications in the creature that are required by God as a condition of our believing," (p. 195).
  4. "The great glory and design that God has in the world is to glorify Himself in the way of His free grace and faithfulness towards the children of men," (p. 197).
  5. "As it is God's great design to magnify His grace above all His works, so it's as delightful to Christ to enjoy the end of His death as it can be to any of you to have your souls saved," (p. 197).
  6. "God withdraws Himself from His people and brings them into such a condition wherein they are without all kind of sense of His love, and there is nothing but darkness.  The Lord has many good ends why He does this," (p. 198).
  7. "Consider, when you are afraid that God should cast you off because you have no sense of His love, what would God get by if He did cast you off?" (p. 202).

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"He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities," (Isa. 53:11).