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Reading Classics Together - The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (IX)

So after being just a little bit underwhelmed with chapter eight, I thought that Burroughs came back strong in chapter nine. Actually, I’m sure it is my fault and not his that I found the previous chapter slow-going, but I digress. There were a lot of things in this chapter, once again dealing with the evils of a murmuring heart, that hit me right between the eyes.

Summary

Some weeks I use this space to give a blow-by-blow account of the chapter while other times I use it to share a few of the things that most impacted me. Today I want to focus instead on just quotes. As I’ve said before, Burroughs is incredibly quotable and I thought I’d share just a few of his best quotes from this chapter. Even if you haven’t been reading the book, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the quotes! Here we go:

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The Spirit of God extenuates evils and crosses, and magnifies and amplifies all mercies; and makes all mercies seem to be great, and all afflictions seem to be little. But the Devil goes quite contrary, says Luther, his rhetoric is quite otherwise: he lessens God’s mercies, and amplifies evil things. Thus, a godly man wonders at his cross that it is not more, a wicked man wonders his cross is so much: ‘Oh’, he says, ‘none was ever so afflicted as I am.’ If there is a cross, the Devil puts the soul to musing on it, and making it greater than it is, and so it brings discontent.

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Oh, what baseness there is in a discontented spirit! A discontented spirit, out of envy to God’s grace, will make mercies that are great little, yea to be none at all.

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This is the very reason why many mercies are denied to you, because of your discontent. You are discontented for want of them, and therefore you do not get them, you deprive yourselves of the enjoyment of your own desires, because of the discontent of your hearts, because you do not get your desires, and is not this a foolish thing?

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If God gives the man or woman who is discontented for want of some good thing, that good thing before they are humbled for their discontent, such a man or woman can have no comfort from the mercy, but it will be rather an evil than a good to them.

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If you murmur against those whom God makes instruments, because you have not got everything that you would have, against the Parliament, or such and such who are public instruments, it is against God.

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You are never so prepared for present wrath as when you are in a murmuring, discontented fit. Those who stand by and see you in a murmuring, discontented fit, have cause to say: ‘Oh, let us go and take the censer, let us go to prayer, for we are afraid that wrath is gone out against this family, against this person.’ And it would be a very good thing for you, who are a godly wife, when you see your husband come home and start murmuring because things are not going according to his desire, to go to prayer, and say: ‘Lord, pardon the sin of my husband.’ And similarly for a husband to go to God in prayer, falling down and beseeching him that wrath may not come out against his family for the murmuring of his wife.

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The Devil is the most discontented creature in the world, he is the proudest creature that is, and the most discontented creature, and the most dejected creature. Now, therefore, so much discontent as you have, so much of the spirit of Satan you have.

Next Week

Next week we’ll venture into chapter ten. We’ve got just four chapters remaining!

Your Turn

The purpose of this program is to read these classics together. So if there is something you’d like to share about what you read, please feel free to do so. You can leave a comment or a link to your blog and we’ll make this a collaborative effort.