6/22/17

Audio: 'A Treatise Of Earthly Mindedness' By Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646) - A Great Sin; Original, Unedited; 2 of 3

Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646) - one of the 'Puritans' - well regarded in his day, by his writings is still today. Very few audio resources of Jeremiah Burroughs online, or printed in readable text format even. This particular audio in it's original unedited form as it is here is nowhere else to be found. There is one partial-recording of JBurroughs 'Earthly Mindedness' on YT but it has been 'modernized'...which is to say...stripped of it's essence. The writings of Burroughs are a treasure. Very practical, very applicable, and depending on the hearer, may be very impactful. This particular work 'A Treatise of Earthly-mindedness' - 'Who Mind Earthly Things' is widely considered a classic. Well worth the effort, time.

It is done with a robo-voice - MS 'David' - but nevertheless is very 'listenable to'. Note: This audio is lengthy approximately 90 min. It is the third chapter complete. Does not have to be listened to all at once. Carefully listening to it in parts can be a good way to go. And, repeated hearing is always best  [Part 2 - 1:33:37].

Note: the images for the video is the original table of contents, showing chapter titles and subtitles. It begins at about 1:10 min. Helpful to follow. It has two columns. In the first image at 1:10 'Chapter III' will be seen in the right hand column midway. That is the start point. To follow note that the table of contents is a few pages so the page changes a couple of times. This 2nd video of 3 starts with the right column. When it gets to the bottom the column will change to the left column (top left) on the next page. Conversely when the left column reaches the bottom of page the image will go back up and change to the (top) right column. And so on.

Below video in scrolling window is the unedited text of the third chapter retaining the original spelling and punctuation. Note that for this video it is not complete but only the first part of chapter. It is too long for the blog format so needed a dedicated page. There is a link at the end to continue or go to dedicated page here: link

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Pt. II of III - Chapter 3 from Jeremiah Burroughs book entitled 'A Treatise Of Earthly Mindedness'; original unedited

Philip. 3. latter part of the 19th verse - 'Who Mind Earthly Things'

1. 14 Evils of earthly-mindednesse
2. 5 Things wherein Men may be earthly-minded and yet not know they are
3. 9 Convincements


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CHAP. III. Fourteen Evils of Earthly-mindedness.

The First EVIL.

First - The Scripture calls it, Adultery: it is spiritual Adultery, in James 4, 4. vers. Ye Adulterers and Adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God. They were Adulterers and Adulteresses in respect of their love to the world: you that would abhor the thought of a temptation to Adultery, yet you may commit spiritual Adultery, a man or a woman may be an Adulterer or an Adulteresse before the Lord, though they never commit the act of uncleannesse with another, yet if their hearts be towards another, they be guilty of uncleannesse: for Christ saith, whosoever doth but look after a woman to lust after her in his heart, he hath committed adultery already; that is, hath sinned against that command that forbids adultery: Is it so, that if a man do but let his heart go after another woman more than his wife, and a wife after another man more than her husband, this is adultery before the Lord. So if our hearts be after any things more than the Lord Jesus Christ, that we profess our selves married to and he to be our husband; this is adultery in Scripture phrase.

The Second EVIL.

Yea further, A worldly or an earthly-mind in Scripture phrase, is called Idolatry; in Ephes. 5. 5. speaking of divers sins that should not be so much as named among them as it became Saints, he hath Covetousness among the rest, and he ads this; And Covetousness which is Idolatry. Now what is Earthly-mindednesse, but Covetousnesse, which is Idolatry? A man, or woman is an Idolater that is of an Earthly mind: Now Idolatry which is a worshiping of stocks and stones, you all account to be a great sin; but do you, and all others take heed of another Idolatry that may be as bad that is, To have your hearts to make the god of this world to be your God, the cursed Mammon of unrighteousnesse, to make the things of the earth to be your Christ, to fall down and worship the golden Calfe of the world. It's certain, that that thing a mans heart is most taken with, and set upon, that's his God: and therefore here in this verse out of which my Text is, it's said, They made earthly things (their bellies) their God:

The Voluptuous, and Drunkard makes their Belly their God; and the Unclean person, makes his Strumpet to be his goddesse and worshippeth that; whatsoever thy heart is most upon, that's thy God: therefore, that you must know to be the meaning of the Commandement, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me: That is, thou shalt give me the strength of thy soul, and nothing else: So, I am a God to my Creature when I have its strength exercised about me, to lift up me as the highest good; but if there be any thing else that thy soul is set upon as thy highest good, that's thy God, and it's worse than bowing the knee, thou bowest thy soul to that thing: now the meaner any thing is that we make a God of to our selves, the more vile is the Idolatry: as when the Egyptians worshiped divers sorts of gods, they were accounted the most vile Idolaters; whereas other Heathens worshipped more excellent things, the Sun, Moon, and Stars; the Egyptians worshiped Dogs, Cats, Onions, and vile things; and therefore their Idolatry was vile. So, the viler any thing is that a man or woman sets their hearts upon, the more vile is their Idolatry; as for a man that should set his heart upon unclean lusts, now to make that to be a god, the satisfying of those lusts, that's abominable, and to make any earthly thing to be a god to us, that's most vile; for of all the things of the works of creation that God hath made, the Earth is the meanest, 'tis the basest and lowest thing, and hath the least beauty in it in it's self, and it is the most dul and meanest element of all; and to make earthly things to be a God to you, this is most vile.

Object. You will say for this Idolatry, What is there in it?

Answ. There is Two particulars to open the Evil of Idolatry, or Earthly-mindednesse.

First. The Evil of your Idolatry, it is in this. You do depart from God; in letting out of your hearts to these things, you do (as it were) go off from God, and renounce the protection of God, the goodnesse and mercy of God, you leave it all by this: In the 4. chap. of Hosea, 12. verse. They are said, To go a whoring from under their God. It's a notable phrase; that is, by going to Idols they did go off from the protection of God; whereas, while they were worshiping the true God, they then were under the protection of God; but when they went to Idols, they went from under their God, from under his protection: So when thou settest thy heart upon God, and liftest up the infinite First being of all things as the chief good to thy soul, thou art under the influence of this Grace and Mercy: but when thou doest depart from him, and makest other things to be thy Chief good, thou goest from under his protection, and from his good and mercy.

Secondly: God is slighted and contemn'd in this, When thou choosest rather to make the earth to be thy God than the infinite blessed first-being of all things; As a man that doth dispise his wife, and it were abominable sin, if he should choose to go to a Queen though the most beautifullest woman in the world, and forsake his wife; but to leave a Queen, or Empress that were the beautifullest woman upon the earth, and to have the heart cleave to a base dunghil-raker, were not this a great contempt to the Queen that were so beautiful? Yet so it is when thou doest forsake the blessed eternal God as thy chief good, and choosest the things of the earth: for the truth is, the earth is the fink of all the creatures of Gods making, and for thee to leave the most blessed and Eternal One, and to make that thy god it must needs be a very vile and abominable thing; and therefore the Prophet Jeremiah in speaking of this Idolatry, he calls the Heavens and the Earth to be amazed at it. Jeremiah, 2. 12. Be astonished O ye Heavens at this, and be horrible afraid, be ye very desolate saith the Lord, Why? what's the matter? For my people have committed two evils, They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out Cisterns, broken Cisterns that can hold no water. So 'tis here; thou forsakest the fountain of living waters, the blessed God, and thy heart cleaves to the dust, and seekest thy contentment and happinesse in cisterns that can hold no water; let the Heavens be astonished at this horrible wickedness.

The Third EVIL.

Thirdly, Earthly-mindedness it's enmity against God. Thou wouldst be loth to be found an enemy against God; certainly it's a truth, and it will be found another day, That an earthly-minded man, or woman is an enemy to God: yea the Scripture makes it to be enmity in the very Abstract, James, 4. 4. Know ye not that the love of the world is enmity to God? Observe this, for there's very much in it, if God would be pleased to make us to lay it to heart, you will find it by experience, that earthly-mindednesse doth make men to be enemies to that that is spiritually good, therefore well might the holy-Ghost say, 'tis enmity to God, for whatsoever is enmity to any thing that is spiritually good, it is enmity to God; so much as my heart, or any of your hearts are against any thing that is spiritual, so much mine or any of your hearts are enemies to God. Now here in the very Text, these earthly-minded men are made enemies to the Crosse of Christ: that is, enemies to the spiritual preaching of Christ, and holding forth Christ: Indeed, If they would have mixt Christ and Circumcision together, then they would have been content with it; but now this spiritual way of preaching Christ, and being justified by faith alone, and Christian Religion in the purity of it, was that that was not sutable to their carnal hearts, and therefore they were enemies to it. Oh! earthly-mindednesse doth make us enemies to spiritual things; where have you greater enemies unto the things of God, unto spiritual things, unto the Ministry of the word (as we had occasion to hint) and to the work of Gods grace upon the hearts of men and women, no greater enemies unto these things than earthly minded men, men that savour the things of the earth, that can go up and down and care not if they can but load themselves with thick clay, grow rich in the world and fare deliciously every day with Dives, make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof, there is an antipathy in their spirits against Jesus Christ and all goodnesse.

The Fourth EVIL.

Then Fourthly; There is scarce any disposition more opposite, more contrary to the work of grace, to the work of godlinesse in a mans own heart than earthly-mindednesse, 'tis so exceeding crosse to the nature of grace, that it may as well put men or women to be at a stand, and put them upon examination whether there be any grace or no in their hearts if earthly-mindednesse prevail, as almost any other thing; if God should suffer your corruptions to prevail over you, so as you should break forth into some outward notorious sins, then it may be you would begin to think, can this stand with grace? and how can that stand with such workings as I have had before? have not I cause to fear that I am but an Hypocrite, a rotten professor? But now, this earthly-mindednesse hath as much opposition to the nature of grace, and the power of godlinesse in the heart as almost any sin that you can name. It is so quite contrary to the very beginning of the work of grace, not contrary to the degrees only, but to the very beginning. The main work of God at the very first, in working grace in the soul, is to disingage the soul from the creature, it is to take it off from the Earth, and from all creatures here below: for naturally 'tis true, That as we are of the earth, so we are earthly, and have our spirits ingaged to the things of this earth; but then comes the work of grace upon the soul, and takes it off, and discharges the heart from the earth: and therefore you find that Christ laies in this as the first lesson, That he that will be my Disciple, must deny himself, and take up his Cross and follow me: as if he should say, never think of being a Christian except you will deny your selves.

Self: what's that? all natural contentment, natural-self, and sinful-self, to be emptied wholly of your selves, and creature-comforts, and contentments, and take up my Cross, to be willing to suffer any thing in regard of earthly comforts, to be willing to lay down all at my feet, and to give up your intrest in all, and to take up my Cross; this is the very first beginning of Christs bringing Disciples to himself. Then (saith the soul) let me have my sin pardoned, and farwel earth, it's Heaven, Holiness, renewing of the Image of God, communion, and union with God, and living to the eternal praise of his Name in Christ that my heart is upon; I say, this in the beginning of Gods working the heart to himself. The work of Grace when it is first wrought, it hath the name of Vocation: Calling, what is it for a man to be called? give diligence to make your calling and election sure: To be called, is this, and whereas before thou wert altogether digging and dolving in the earth, and seeking for thy happiness in the world, now it pleases God to make thee to hear a voice behind thee, calling thee, and telling thee, O poor soul, thy happiness is not here, there are other things in which thy chief good consists, thou art made for higher and better things than these, God hath nobler thoughts about man-kind than meerly to let him have a few contentments here in the earth, Oh soul! come away and look after higher things; here's the first work of grace: and the soul answers unto this call of God and saith, Lord, I come, and so gives up it's self to God to dispose of it, and this is in the beginning of the work of Grace: Now, how contrary is earthly-mindednesse to the work of God in bringing grace into the heart? Conceive it in these three things.

1. The very work of conversion, it is set out in Scripture by Gods calling the soul out of the world, Whom he hath predestinated; him he hath called. When God effectually begins to work upon the heart of a sinner, he does cause a voice to be heard in the soul, Oh soul, thou hast been busying thy self about many things, but there is one thing necessary, Oh come out of that way of thine that thou art in, thou canst never be happy else, thou wilt be undone in it; the Lord calls the soul out of the world; and that (I say) is the very work of conversion, the souls answering to Gods call: Now for one stil to be earthly, and to have a heart cleaving to these things, surely such a one is not as yet effectually called out of the world.

2. And then from thence follows, upon the souls answer to this call; the Lord dis-engages the heart from all creature comforts, and teacheth, the first lesson to deny himself, and to take up Christs Crosse: now what's more opposite to self-denial and the taking up of the Crosse of Christ than earthly-mindednesse? the text saith here, They are enemies to the Cross of Christ.

And then a third thing in conversion it is, The resigning up of the soul to God as the chief good; the soul upon the call of God, it learns the lesson of Self-denial, and taking up the Crosse, and so being disengaged from the creature, now it resigns up it self to God as an infinite soul satisfying good for ever: now you cannot but in the naming of this see how opposite earthly-mindednesse is to it.

And then for the work of grace upon the heart, after the heart is converted and turned to God.

First, Grace brings a new light into the soul: A Spiritual and Divine light is set up in the soul upon the conversion of a sinner to God; but now, the earth you know, it's the dark part of the world, and earthly mindednesse it causeth darknesse to be upon the spirit, as the interposition of the earth between us & the Sun, it doth hinder the sight of the Sun from us; And so the interposition that there is of earthlinesse in the soul of man between God and it, doth hinder the sight of God from the soul; there is a Divine light set up in the soul, and when as God works grace that doth discover things of a higher and more excellent and glorious nature, than those things were that before the heart did so much cleave unto.

In the second place: the Scripture sets forth the work of grace by the New creature. In the soul all things are made new, old things are Past, he that is in Christ is a new creature: Now earthly-mindednesse is opposite to the new creation in the soul, it's the old man that is of the earth, the first man is of the earth earthly; and so it is apparant that thou art still only in the stock of the first man, of the earth earthly who art an earthly-minded man. But the second man is, the Lord from Heaven: But now, thou that art an earthly-minded man or woman art yet but a child of Adam, of the first man, and so art of the earth earthly, this is opposite to grace, grace works a new creation in the soul.

3. And grace is of an Elevating nature, raises the heart above its self, and above the creature, yea, above the world, in some respect above Angels themselves, above Principalities and Powers, above all created things, grace is of a raising nature; but an earthly-minded man sinks down to low and base things.

And grace (fourthly) is of an Enlarging nature; it enlarges the heart, so that it cannot be satisfied with any earthly thing, though God should give the whole world to a heart that hath grace, this would not satisfie that heart, why? because it is so Enlarged by the work of grace, the work of grace it is the Divine nature, the Image of God in the soul, and therefore works the soul like to God: and it's said of God in the 40. of Isa. that all the nations of the earth are to him, but as the drop of the bucket, and as the smal dust in the ballance. Now grace makes the soul to be like God, to account all the things of the earth to be as the drop of a bucket, and the dust of the ballance, to be nothing, less than nothing.

5. And then, Grace sanctifies the soul: Now what is it to sanctifie, but to take off from all common uses, and to dedicate to God as the highest act of all things? And therefore, the Greek word that is for Holy, it is taken from a participle Premitive, and a word that signifies the Earth, as much as to say, Not Earthly, and a holy one in the Greek language is not an earthly one, according to the usual etimology given of it. Now Grace it makes the soul holy, it sanctifies the soul, it sets apart the soul for God, and dedicates and consecrates the soul to God: and therefore you see that it is opposite to the work of God in bringing Grace into the soul, and to the work of grace, and the power of godliness in the soul of man: This is the great Evil of Earthly mindedness.

The Fifth Evil.

But Fifthly: For the discovery of the great Evil that there is in Earthly-mindedness: It puts men upon very great Temptations; and for that we need no other Scripture than that in the 1 of Tim. 6. 9. saith the Apostle there, But they that will be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare. Mark, that is, Those that have set their hearts so much upon the things of the earth, as they are resolved they must have them whatsoever comes of it: Observe the phrase; They that will be rich, they apprehend a necessity of the things of the earth, they do not only wish and desire, Oh! that we had riches, and had these things of the earth, but they resolve they must have them upon any terms: Well, If the heart go on in obedience to God in the duties of its calling, and if God send in riches and an estate, it doth thankfully accept it from God; these do not meet with such temptations and a snare as the Apostle here speaks of; but when the heart is set upon it, that it needs must have an estate whatsoever comes on it; now they that will be so, they (saith the Apostle) fall into temptations and a snare. There's dangerous temptations in following after the things of the earth, and there is a snare in them that you do not think of, for you think only of the bravery of the things of the earth, how sumptuously you should live, and how fine you should be, in your house, and cloaths, and what table you may keep, you only think of these things that may give the flesh contentment; but you do not think of the temptation, and the snare that is in them; and those whose hearts are set upon these things, they fall into the snare, nay, temptation; those that are earthly-minded, have great temptations, to shift up and down, to strain their consciences for the things of the earth; for so it is, that while we live in this world God hath made the things of the earth to be as thorns, and so they are compared in Scripture, and it's hard for one to meddle with thorns without pricking his fingers; they are as briars, and its hard for the sheep to get among them but she will lose some of her wool: and so it's hard for the heart to be busie about the things of the earth, but it will be prickt and lose some of its fleece, in will fall into temptation and a snare, and be catch'd:

Oh! how many men and women that have enlightened consciences, and they think sometimes that they would not for all the world do any thing against their consciences, though they might gain all the glory and riches under Heaven: Well, but yet their hearts being earthly, when it comes to some particular, how ready are they? at least, to strain conscience, and not to attend to the voice of conscience, and are willing that conscience should have its mouth stop'd for the time: Indeed, If their consciences did plainly tell them, that this thing is absolutely sin against God, perhaps they would not do it, but that were not the snare, for tis no snare when I see the danger before me, here's a deep pit, and if I step a step further I fall into it, this is no snare. But now, there are some that are not catch'd so, by a pit that's open; but the Devil doth lay upon the pit (it may) some green grass, so that they shall not perceive, or very hardly perceive the danger; thus such as have earthly hearts they fall into a snare and temptation, they are put upon straining of conscience, and wringing it as much as may be, and many shifts that they are put too, Oh! a man when once he is got into an earthly business he knows not how in the world to bear it if he be crost in it, It may be I have gone thus far, and I have very great hopes that I shall succeed in it, only there is one stop, now for him to think that for this one stop I am like to lose all, Oh it goes to his heart: Oh but now, if you would but strain conscience a little you may get over it presently; an earthly man will strain hard but he will get over it; whereas now, were the heart taken off from the earth, though such a man had gone on never so far in a business, if there comes a stop in a matter of conscience, yea, if it were but a doubt that such a thing were sin; it's enough to stop him, a meer doubt lest he should sin would be enough for to make him say, let the business fall if it will, there may be a snare in this, and I see some cause to doubt: now if the heart were spiritual it would be taken off; but an earthly mind will go through very many dreadful things and doth not much trouble himself, and so doth ensnare himself exceedingly, that he may get an estate, or preserve it when once he hath got it: That's the fifth thing.

The Sixth Evil - continue here
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Source: Text Creation Partnership (complete book in multiple files)

Part 1 - Chapters 1 & 2
Part 3 - Chapters 4-7
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also: Jeremiah Burroughs 'Exceeding Sinfulness Of Sin' - Sixt Part 'He That Committeth Sin Is Of The Devil' 1Jn 3:8 - Audio

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Philippians 3:19 'Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things'

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