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The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  1,368 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Burroughs says no men in the world may live such comfortable, cheerful, and contented lives as the saints of God. He seeks to show believers how they may live in that contentment and peace, even during trying times.
Paperback, 228 pages
Published December 1st 1964 by The Banner of Truth Trust
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The Shorter Catechism with scripture proofs by Westminster AssemblyThe Mortification of Sin by John OwenPrecious Remedies Against Satan's Devices by Thomas BrooksPrayer by John BunyanCommunion with God by John Owen
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Jan 06, 2008 Leslie is currently reading 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
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
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
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..
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
Randall Hartman
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
Bambi Moore
Full of delicious truths. A balm to the soul!
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!
Bob O'bannon

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.
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!
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
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
Mike E.
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
Jenny Suh
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.

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
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
Beth Anne
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
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
Carol Larson
A Puritan top tens. Amazing how much instruction can be squeezed out from thoughtful meditation by these giants from the past.
Haley Olson
Jeremiah Burroughs digs up and draws out riches throughout the whole book. When you think he's exhausted what could be said about the matter, he presents more. They are multifaceted yet practical; riches for the everyday. Christ is who everything revolves around and gives weight to. The analogies are creative, perfectly practical, and constant throughout the book - effortlessly weaving precious truths with daily life. I found myself in a constant cycle of praise, adoration, conviction (ouch), an ...more
In "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment" Burroughs does a fantastic job of taking a rational biblical approach to understanding and pursuing contentment. He uses vivid metaphors and word pictures that bring home points and helps the reader connect to the concepts. This book meets the reader where he is at and helps pull back the veil on ones heart when struggling with contentment.

He first describes what Christian contentment is. He then goes on to discuss the mystery of it, not a mystery in
First, I should say, this book changed my life -- or, I should say, it was very helpful in changing and fixing the way I looked at life. It has a very special place in my heart, and is usually the number one book (aside from Scripture) I recommend to others.

Burroughs certainly has dug deep into the ways of godly contentment. It is not enough to just say, "Be content because you're a Christian", but he analyses every aspect of the mystery and lays it open for the reader to see. And isn't this the
Garrett Shirey
Though this book is written in post-reformation speech it's still easily readable. If discontentment (i.e. focusing on/thinking of yourself) is something you struggle with; this is your book. Burroughs does an intensely thorough breakdown of how rare contentment is, yet how crucial it is for a Believer. He easily and clearly lays open the excellencies of contentment and how contenment displayed in a Believer's life is very much so, a form of worship. He calls discontentment what it is: sin. He a ...more
Stephanie Willis
Like any Puritan writing, this is a deep thinking book. It is worth diving deep for, especially in our discontent culture. Highly recommend going through with a friend or group.
I struggled with how to rate this book.

There were times when I wanted to stop reading due to the difficulty of working through page after page covering the same basic material. (He makes a point, then develops it, sometimes way too much for my liking).

That said, there are true gems of wisdom in this book. There were points made that spoke directly to my heart, and grew my understanding of what contentment is, why grumbling (discontentment) is so grievous, and how to progress towards a state of c
So helpful in getting control of the attitude. Can be a bit wordy (he was a Puritan after all(, but really quite good.
Anthony Alvarado
A must read for every believer. Ministered to my soul meditating on contentment through Burroughs for 2 months. His closing thoughts are especially powerful defending the character of God and His heart toward us contrasting that with how we typically believe the worst about God at the first chance we get. Very convicting yet brought me to tears encouraged by the love of God and believing just a bit more that in whatever circumstances I am in, He has good for me. Probably a few more blog posts co ...more
Alex Houston
Reading the puritans is to enter into another world. These men were giants of the faith, and anytime spent with them is very well spent. Jeremiah Burroughs teaches on Christian contentment, starting from the Apostle Paul's statement in Phillipians 4:21 that he had learned in all things to be content. This book was very helpful, and shows true contentment beginning with a true understanding of the gospel and all we have been given in Christ. Very helpful to me, and a rare gem in a discontented cu ...more
In my top 10.
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment is a challenging book. It was first published in 1648 so it contains older language and deeper thought than most modern books. In addition, Jeremiah Burroughs strongly argues against the sin of discontentment. The thirteen chapters look at discontentment and contentment from several different perspectives. Together these help the truths sink in and changes to start taking place. Cautions: none.

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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
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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.” 9 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.” 7 likes
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