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The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,732 Ratings  ·  101 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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The Mortification of Sin by John OwenThe Shorter Catechism with scripture proofs by Westminster AssemblyThe Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah BurroughsThe Mystery of Providence by John FlavelPrecious Remedies Against Satan's Devices by Thomas  Brooks
Favorite Puritan Paperbacks
3rd out of 20 books — 8 voters
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisMere Christianity by C.S. LewisHoly Bible by AnonymousThe Pursuit of God by A.W. TozerNot Paul, But Jesus by Jeremy Bentham
Books Every Christian Should Read
27th out of 66 books — 19 voters

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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
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
Bambi Moore
Feb 02, 2015 Bambi Moore rated it it was amazing
Full of delicious truths. A balm to the soul!
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!
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
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
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
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.

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..
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
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
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
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
Jun 22, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it
Overall, a heart-humbling and edifying read. I especially enjoyed his readability (an analogy in every paragraph!) and his implicit theology of possessions. Two quibbles kept it from 5 stars:
1. The first half of the book motivates change by talking about God's grace and the nature of reality. Most of the second half attempts to do the same thing by telling us what a horrible sin it is to be discontented. While logically convincing, this section was not motivating...for heart-change, or for finis
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.
Andy Littleton
Mar 03, 2016 Andy Littleton rated it it was amazing
I believe that every Christian should read this book. It will lead you into far greater depths concerning the nature of real and enduring contentment than anything being published today. I was genuinely challenged by every paragraph, and plan to re-read the book.

A compilation of sermons preached in England around the time of the Westminster Assembly, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment is well worth the time and effort to read. Be warned. You won't and shouldn't read it quickly. Burroughs de
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.
Haley Olson
May 26, 2014 Haley Olson rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 16, 2015 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
This rare jewel of a book has so much spiritual depth & practical guidance that I'm giving it 5 stars. From start to finish, Burroughs turns over the fallow ground of our discontented, restless & self seeking hearts, at times leaving the reader out of breath searching for a place to hide from one's own shameful participation in this frequently disguised sin.
With such skill the author exposes the evils of a murmuring, covetous spirit & uncovers all our excuses for being discontent; m
May 26, 2015 Justin rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 04, 2012 Alex rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 15, 2014 Garrett Shirey rated it it was amazing
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
Rebekah Jones
Mar 23, 2016 Rebekah Jones rated it really liked it
This book, overall, was very good. I disagreed with the author on a few points, most notably, his use of Scripture in a few instances, but nearly all points that I disagreed with him on were in a couple of chapters near the middle. The rest was convicting, but encouraging.

The author brought out a few points concerning contentment, or lack thereof, that I had never considered and wish I had. His chapters on the sin of murmuring were very thought provoking and convicting.
Gabriel Barnes
Aug 02, 2015 Gabriel Barnes rated it it was amazing
An excellent little work on a long lost aspect to Christian piety! I highly recommend this to your reading.

"I offer the following description: 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. This description is a box of precious ointment and very comforting and useful for troubled hearts in troubled times and conditions"~Jeremiah Burroughs
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  • The Bruised Reed
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  • Christianity and Liberalism
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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.” 10 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.” 8 likes
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