Counting Others More Significant

Jeremiah Burroughs (c. 1600–1646) was an outstanding Puritan preacher and writer. He wrote the following in his book Excellency of a Gracious Spirit, a quote that made its way inside a very good new biography on the man by Phillip Simpson, A Life of Gospel Peace (RHB, 2011):

Rejoice in the good of others, though it eclipses your light, though it makes your parts, your abilities, and your excellencies dimmer in the eyes of others. Were it not for the eminence of some above you, your parts perhaps would shine more brightly and be of high esteem. Yet to rejoice in this from the heart, to bless God from the soul for His gifts and graces in others, that His name may be glorified more by others than I can glorify it myself; to be able to truly say, ‘Though I can do little, yet blessed be God there are some who can do more for God than I, and in this I do and will rejoice’—this is indeed to be able to do much more than others. This shows a great eminence of spirit.

New Biographies For Little Kids, And Big Kids, And Parents

In the mornings before I leave for work, we take time to read as a family. Of late we have been working through the Christian Biographies For Young Readers series (Reformation Heritage Books). We first read the John Calvin bio (2008) then moved on to Augustine (2009) and now finally on to John Owen (2010). The series is beautifully illustrated and the storyline (by Simonetta Carr) provides quite a lot of detail, just enough to provide historic context for the value of these three men in Church history. The publisher anticipates adding future bios to this series that will include Lady Jane Grey, Athanasius, John Knox, Jonathan Edwards, and others [John Bunyan please!]. The books are around 64-pages in length and can be read in about 30–40 minutes or 50 minutes if you gawk at the excellent paintings and random historical pictures. In that brief time the family gets a poignant introduction to the men and women God has used in building his Church over the centuries—which is especially helpful when most of your kids are named after dead preachers to begin with.

Look Much And Consider Much

In 1670 Puritan William Greenhill (1591–1671) published his long sermon: “Being against the Love of the World.” Our friends at Reformation Heritage Books will reprint the sermon next year under the title Stop Loving the World. This excerpt is pulled from the forthcoming title, pages 71–72 (posted with permission):

If you would have your heart removed from the things of the word, behold the crucified and glorified Lord Jesus Christ.

Set Christ crucified often before your eyes, and look on Him with the eye of faith. “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). That is, “I look on Christ crucified, and by the eye of faith I can see Him hanging there, and all the glory of the world stained there. Is all the world comparable to Christ? There is the King, the High Priest, the Mediator, the great Prophet. There is the Heir of the world crucified. There is His blood running down. He has laid down His life for sinners, and to take my heart off from the world.” If you look on a dead man, it deadens your spirit. What will looking on Christ do then? It will deaden your heart toward the world if you look on Jesus Christ crucified. “I am crucified to the world,” said Paul.

Then look on Christ glorified, and your heart will be raised above the world. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1–2). Christ has died, risen, and gone to glory. If now you are risen out of the state of sin, transferred from the power of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, you will have your heart where Christ is. Consider Christ in this way: “There is my Head, my King, my Husband. There is my Redeemer, the one who is a thousand times better than the world. Therefore, I will not set my heart on things of the earth, but on things above. How glorious it is to see the King in His glory!”

Look much, and consider much of Christ crucified and glorified.