Jeremiah Burroughs was a man of conviction and a faithful pastor. Born in 1600, he was tutored by Thomas Hooker and educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. After graduating with a Master of Arts degree in 1624 he went into ministry in England, serving first as a pastoral assistant in Suffolk and then as a rector in Norfolk. Burroughs lost his job in Norfolk because, for reasons of conscience, he could not obey several dictates from the bishop, including the requirement that he read King James’ The Book of Sports in church, which declared dancing, archery and other recreations permissible on the Lord’s Day.
From 1638-1640 Burroughs lived in Rotterdam, Netherlands, serving as teacher in a congregation of English Independents who had relocated there.
Then, from 1640 until his death in 1646, Burroughs was back in England, serving as pastor of two of the largest congregations in London. It was at this time that he became recognized as a great preacher and leading Puritan. Thomas Brooks called him “a prince of preachers,” and the House of Commons and House of Lords invited him to preach before them several times.
In 1646 Burroughs died from complications resulting from a fall from his horse.
“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“Now this is a mystery to a carnal heart. They can see no such thing; perhaps they think God loves them when he prospers them and makes them rich, but they think God loves them not when he afflicts them. That is a mystery, but grace instructs men in that mystery, grace enables men to see love in the very frown of God’s face, and so come to receive contentment.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“In a clock, stop but one wheel and you stop every wheel, because they are dependent upon one other. So when God has ordered a thing for the present to be thus and thus, how do you know how many things depend upon this thing? God may have some work to do twenty years hence that depends on this passage of providence that falls out this day or this week.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“If you would get a contented life, do not grasp too much of the world, do not take in more of the business of the world than God calls you to.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“If I become content by having my desire satisfied, that is only self-love; but when I am contented with the hand of God and am willing to be at His disposal, that comes from my love to God.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“My brethren, the reason why you do not have contentment in the things of the world is not that you do not have enough of them. The reason is that they are not things proportional to that immortal soul of yours that is capable of God Himself.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“A godly man wonders at his cross that it is not more, a wicked man wonders his cross is so much” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“Oh, that we could but convince men and women that murmuring spirit is a greater evil than any affliction, whatever the affliction!” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“To be well skilled in the mystery of Christian contentment is the duty, glory, and excellence of a Christian.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“It’s certain that the thing a man’s heart is most taken with and set upon is his God.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“I beseech you to consider that God does not deal by you as you deal with him.” ~Jeremiah Burroughs
“Temptations will no more prevail over a contented man, than a dart that is thrown against a brazen wall.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“You can never make a ship go steady by propping it outside; you know there must be ballast within the ship to make it go steady. So there is nothing outside us that can keep our hearts in a steady, constant way, but grace within the soul.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“The disorders of your hearts, and their sinful workings are as words before God.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“A godly man in the midst of the waves and storms that he meets with can see the glory of heaven before him and so contents himself. One drop of the sweetness of heaven is enough to take away all the sourness and bitterness of all the afflictions in the world. We know that one drop of sourness, or one drop of gall will make bitter a great deal of it; but if you put a spoonful of gall into a cup of sugar, it will embitter that. Now it is otherwise in heaven: one drop of sweetness will sweeten a great deal of sour affliction, but a great deal of sourness and gall will not embitter a soul who sees the glory of heaven that is to come.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“The Lord does not so much look at the work that is done, as at the faithfulness of our hearts in doing it.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“Here lies the bottom and root of all contentment, when there is an evenness and proportion between our hearts and our circumstances.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“It is a special part of the divine worship that we owe to God, to be content in a Christian way, as has been shown to you.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“I am discontented because I have not these things which God never yet promised me, and therefore I sin much against the Gospel, and against the grace of faith.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“One drop of the sweetness of heaven is enough to take away all the sourness and bitterness of all the afflictions in the world.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“Now I say that a heart that has no grace, and is not instructed in this mystery of contentment, knows of no way to get contentment, but to have his possessions raised up to his desires; but the Christian has another way to contentment, that is, he can bring his desires down to his possessions, and so he attains his contentment….The world is infinitely deceived in thinking that contentment lies in having more than we already have. Here lies the bottom and root of all contentment, when there is an evenness and proportion between our hearts and our circumstances. That is why many godly men who are in low position live more sweet and comfortable lives than those who are richer.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“When the heart of a man has nothing to do, but to be busy about creature-comforts, every little thing troubles him; but when the heart is taken up with the weighty things of eternity, with the great things of eternal life, the things of here below that disquieted it before are things now of no consequence to him in comparison with the other-how things fall out here is not much regarded by him, if the one thing that is necessary is provided for.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“A noble heart is a thankful heart that loves to acknowledge whenever it has received any mercy.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“Your mercies are more than your afflictions.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“You will not find one Godly man who came out of an affliction worse than when he went into it. Though for a little while he was shaken, yet, at last, he was better for an affliction. But, a great many Godly men have been worse for their prosperity.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“We should study Christ, and praise and bless God, and have our hearts enlarged for Jesus Christ. This is the duty of believers to whom God has revealed Christ as wonderful, that in their conversations they should hold out the wonderful glory of Jesus Christ. You should so walk before men as to manifest to all the world that your Savior is a wonderful Savior.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“When God has given you your heart’s desire, what have you done with your heart’s desire?” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“In the hearing of God’s Word we profess our dependence upon God, for the knowing of His mind, and the way to eternal life… Remember that you come to tender up your homage to God, to sit at God’s feet, and there to profess your submission to Him. That is one end of your coming to hear sermons.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
“Here we see the infinite love of God, that He has been pleased to think of us poor creatures from everlasting and make it His work to reconcile us to Himself. And here is the foundation of the sweetness and comfort of all the mercies of God to those who are reconciled to Him: they are the fruits of the eternal love of God for us.” ~ Jeremiah Burroughs