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The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  1,937 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
We live our lives in a discontented world and it is all too easy for the Christian to share its spirit. This book remedies this spiritual disease in practical biblical ways.
Paperback, 228 pages
Published August 1st 1981 by Banner of Truth (first published December 1st 1964)
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Jan 06, 2008 Leslie added it
In typical puritan style, not for the faint of heart. When you get to the point that you are done with pop-christianity and McChristian books, look no farther than this book for weighty, spiritual depth and life-changing principles. Read slowly in order to digest everything. It is packed full of sound principles; not to be skimmed in a day. But worth all the effort.
Steve Hemmeke
Apr 16, 2012 Steve Hemmeke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series of sermons by the Puritan Burroughs is a rare jewel of solid counsel and instruction for those battling discontent in their souls.

Discontent is all around us. We vent it in coffee shops to friends. Ads for the next cool thing cultivate it for us. In one of the most prosperous societies ever, discontent rages.

Contentment is an inward, quiet submission of the heart, which takes pleasure in God's providence in every situation. So says Burroughs. Many have contentment who don't have much
Natalie Wickham
Oct 29, 2009 Natalie Wickham rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
One of my friends encouraged me to read this book in preparation for a talk I was asked to give on the topic of contentment. She even let me borrow her copy so that I could read it! Mr. Burroughs first published the book in 1648, and it is loaded with wonderful insights, vivid analogies, helpful explanations, and practical applications. One of the most striking explanations that I gleaned from the book is that most Christians don’t handle affliction or loss with contentment because they don’t ex ...more
This book was very profitable and helpful to me in this day of materialism, covetousness, and greed. Even though I have a very comfortable life, I still find myself complaining and worrying - whether outwardly or in my heart - about trivial matters, and this book really helped put everything into proper perspective.

I was concerned about attempting to read a book that was written in 1648 by a Puritan author, but Burroughs' writing style is very readable, certainly no more difficult than a KJV Bi
May 02, 2009 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Quite simply one of the best books I have ever read! Every Christian in America needs to read this book. We complain and complain, or as Burroughs says, "Murmur, Murmur, Murmur..." No matter our circumstance, the current economic problems, or whatever, we find our contentment in Christ and Christ alone. Please, people who read this, read this book and be changed. Thanks be to God that in His providence He raised up men like Burroughs to write things like this. Soli Deo Gloria!
Abby Jones
Nov 07, 2015 Abby Jones rated it really liked it
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (A short review)
By Jeremiah Burroughs

I started reading this book, providentially, at the same time I faced chronic health issues that sapped my energy and forced me to be house bound and mostly couch bound. What a blessing from the Lord! This book challenged me to keep my heart in the right place, trust the Lord, and seek the spiritual growth that comes from affliction.
This is an excellent, easy-to-read, manual for every believer on the importance of conte
Randall Hartman
Nov 12, 2013 Randall Hartman rated it it was amazing
This exposition of Philippians 4:11 by Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs defines Christian contentment as "that sweet, inward quiet gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition." It is a heart condition that is so opposite that of 21st century culture, which has ingrained me and so many others with serial discontent. Burroughs notes that being well-skilled in the mystery of Christian contentment is the duty, glory, and excellence ...more
Bob O'bannon
Aug 15, 2012 Bob O'bannon rated it it was amazing

When I read the Puritans, I sometimes wonder why I read anything else. This book is a 228-page treatment of Paul's declaration that he had learned to be content in every circumstance. Burroughs analyzes the subject of contentment from about every imaginable angle, and shows a timeless acquaintance with the workings of the human heart. Put asunder any fear that this 17th work will be hard to understand --it is plain spoken, practical and profound.
Jan 09, 2015 Joshua rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars! If there is a more needed message to our culture today than the lesson of Christian contentment, I don't know what it is! And if anyone could more thoroughly and biblically teach it than Jeremiah Burroughs here does, I don't know who he is!
Bambi Moore
Feb 02, 2015 Bambi Moore rated it it was amazing
Full of delicious truths. A balm to the soul!
Mike E.
Feb 19, 2014 Mike E. rated it liked it
A clasic puritan work that will challenge your selfish thoughts and help you discover contentment.

Burroughs is comprehensive, insightful, engineer-like. I recommend looking at the table of contents and lingering on sections that will most help your soul with contentment. I will return to parts of this again and again.

The book is available for free on-line. I read this version:


Contentment is the inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, freely submitt
Feb 14, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it
An excellent book. Jeremiah Burroughs (British Puritan) delivered this originally as a series of messages to his congregation. Burroughs has a very readable style full of excellent meditations on the sin of discontent.


"A gracious heart so esteems its union with Christ and the work that God sets it about that it will not willingly suffer anything to come in to choke it or deaden it."

"A godly man may very well be content, though he has only a little, for what he does have he has by right of
Jenny Suh
Oct 13, 2012 Jenny Suh rated it it was amazing
I first read this with a bible study group back in undergrad. I started re-reading it in the summer of 2011 and it took me an entire year to finish it.

It's one of those books where you chew on the words carefully and try to get the most flavor out of them as possible.

You wouldn't think the lesson of contentment could take approximately 200 pages to talk about, but Burroughs has made it clear that it's a lesson well worth learning and it's a lesson we will learn and re-learn our entire lives.

May 31, 2010 Casey rated it it was amazing
What a book! I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book really seemed to have two themes:

1) Taking stock and recognizing the multitude of God's providential gifts.

2) How to reason with your heart when the providence of God brings you low.

This book is one I should probably re-read every year to work the truth and thought processes contained therein into my thick head. In light of the wealthy land in which we live, how much more should we American Christians excel in this mark of contentment.
" 'All that G
Apr 19, 2015 7jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Firstly, this book goes well paired with Thomas Brooks' "Heaven On Earth", which I've already read.

This book deals with keeping a content heart whether we're in a time of comfort or time of affliction. It goes deep on the subject of Christian contentment, how it's opposite - murmuring (in dissatisfaction) - is dangerous (and what objections people might have for murmuring), plus finally how to find a way to grow into stable contentment which is a process not happening instantly but takes time..
May 24, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing
This book!! I read it verrrry slowly, in little increments for over two years (!), but each time I picked it up I benefitted from clear truth about the treasures I have in Christ; treasures which completely overshadow any suffering or sadness I might experience in this world. It was kind of like a spiritual kick up the backside -- when I'm tending to complain or grumble (um, every day), this book is fantastic medicine. Burroughs pulls no punches! Through lots of changes (move of country, three h ...more
Alexis Neal
A well-presented study on contentment, why it matters, and how to develop it. Burroughs is, I think, at his strongest when he is debunking the various common excuses for discontentment. However, I found The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel--a meditation on the many workings of Providence in our lives and the myriad ways God has blessed us--much more encouraging and more effective at dispelling discontentment in my own life. (Although I confess that may be due at least in part to my preferenc ...more
Sep 14, 2011 Jeanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book took awhile to get thru since it a thoughtful book. I have read several books on contentment. I am not sure I can say if any book is better. I think each have built upon themselves. The contentment that Jeremiah Burroughs was more focused on was afflictions. We can have contentment in our afflictions because by doing so we give honor to God and grace to all people. Grace is key contentment. There are several things that stuck with me on this book and learning contentment is a quiet hear ...more
Beth Anne
Aug 14, 2014 Beth Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Likely one of my top 5 all time reads. First read in 2005. I especially enjoyed this re-read after reading a Burroughs biography earlier this year. I have recommended this book countless times and will continue to do so.

An incredibly thorough examination of the topic of contentment, specially using verses in Philippians. I appreciate that Burroughs writes about the importance of an ongoing battle for contentment in the lives of Christians (and this 400 years ago). Specifically, his arguments st
Michael Cunningham
I needed this book. I need to read it again. Sometimes I found it difficult to follow the writer's train of thought, but it may have been his style that occasionally made it hard. But most of the time, what he was saying was clear, biblical and helpful.
Carol Larson
May 26, 2013 Carol Larson rated it it was amazing
A Puritan top tens. Amazing how much instruction can be squeezed out from thoughtful meditation by these giants from the past.
Nov 06, 2016 Jo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, adult, sermons
Sorry Jeremiah. I forced myself through this one but didn't enjoy it. It had a few nuggets that hit home, but for the most part seemed to advocate contentment through a mixture of stoicism and fear of God's wrath, ignoring the experiences of Job and the psalmists. And it never got to Philippians 4:13 - an essential point in a book about how to be content - "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." I enjoyed Martyn Lloyd-Jones' brief treatment of contentment in Spiritual Depression a ...more
Mary Ward
Dec 31, 2016 Mary Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and Convicting

The Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs presents a very readable discourse on a much-needed topic of contentment. As applicable today as it was for his seventeenth century audience. I was able to gain much from this book that fed my soul.
This is a series of sermons that are transcribed into book form that Burroughs preached to his congregation. There are a very few, minor typos that are easily overlooked and decipherable. Highly recommended on a topic not much addressed in the twe
Dec 31, 2016 Tom rated it it was amazing
I can't fathom a better book to read going into a new year. Without knowing what the sovereign and providential God will bring into my life in the coming year, Burroughs' book is a good one to prepare the heart to receive God's providential will. In typical Puritan fashion, Burroughs takes a verse and exigetes every last drop from it, helping the reader to explore the depths of God's word. The applications are seemingly endless and the exortations are exceedingly convicting.
Mar 20, 2015 Alena rated it it was amazing
I've recently had an interest in the Puritans, and this was the first full-length book by one that I picked up — I'm so glad I did.

What did I get from reading this book? Mostly, I was humbled. First, by Burroughs' grasp of the Word: See his exposition of Philippians 4:7, 9 in Chapter 2 on wanting not just the peace of God, but the God of peace. The verses he quotes are not obscure per se, but will give you a fresh perspective and make you love God's Word more. Second, by how little I know God an
Jackie Layne
Dec 21, 2016 Jackie Layne rated it it was amazing
Great Christian classic
Ryan Cavanaugh
Jan 01, 2017 Ryan Cavanaugh rated it it was amazing
Another great read through this great book
Joe McFadden
Jul 17, 2016 Joe McFadden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This month I wanted to challenge myself in reading a book written before 1900. I came across Jeremy Burroughs book The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment and was definitely curious about it especially since it was written around 1648. This book has received many good reviews and contains a topic that cannot be exhausted in our time. While this is the first book I have read that is categorized as a Puritan classic I enjoyed my reading of it. Regardless of
May 30, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it
"I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." - Phil. 4:11

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." - 1 Tim. 6:6

We Christians say a lot of things that don't seem to make rational sense to the natural man. What does it really mean, practically, to lean into Jesus, to take hold of his promises by faith, to trust God's purposes when nothing in life seems to be working out? In this sense, Christian contentment, defined by Burroughs as "that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of
Sep 20, 2016 Hin-Tai rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal. A necessary read - a well-timed read - whilst going through all minor of personal difficulties. Humbling, moving, challenging, Christ-exalting and surprisingly easy to read for a Puritan. Essential reading.
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Jeremiah Burroughs (or Burroughes) was baptized in 1601 and admitted as a pensioner at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1617. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1621 and a Master of Arts degree in 1624. His tutor was Thomas Hooker.

Burroughs’s ministry falls into four periods, all of which reveal him as a zealous and faithful pastor. First, from about 1627 until 1631, he was assistant to
More about Jeremiah Burroughs...

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“Be sure of your call to every business you go about. Though it is the least business, be sure of your call to it; then, whatever you meet with, you may quiet your heart with this: I know I am where God would have me. Nothing in the world will quiet the heart so much as this: when I meet with any cross, I know I am where God would have me, in my place and calling; I am about the work that God has set me.” 13 likes
“You may think you find peace in Christ when you have no outward troubles, but is Christ your peace when the Assyrian comes into the land, when the enemy comes?...Jesus Christ would be peace to the soul when the enemy comes into the city, and into your houses.” 9 likes
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