6/24/17

Audio: 'A Treatise Of Earthly Mindedness' By Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646) - A Great Sin; Original, Unedited; 3 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: 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 3 - 42:58].

Note: the images for the video is the original table of contents, showing chapter titles and subtitles. Helpful to follow. It has two columns. The first image is at about 45 seconds. 'Chapter IV' will be seen in the left hand column at bottom. 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 and when it does the column will change. The Ch. IV start point is at the bottom of page so after a few moments the image will go back to the top and the column will change from the left to the (top) right column. Conversely when the right column reaches the bottom of page the next page will come up and the column will change to the (top) left column. And so on.

Below video in scrolling window is the unedited text for these last four chapters retaining the original spelling and punctuation.

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Chapters 4, 5, 6, and [last] 7 from Jeremiah Burroughs book entitled 'A Treatise Of Earthly Mindedness'; original unedited

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

CHAP. IV - 7 Reasons of mens Earthly-mindednesse
Chap. V - 11 Considerations to take off mens hearts from Earthly-mindednesse
CHAP. VI - Exhortation to beware of earthly-mindednesse
CHAP. VII - 5 Directions to get our hearts free from Earthly-mindednesse


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CHAP. IV.  Seven Reasons of mens Earthly-mindedness.

I Shall now proceed unto the Reasons of the Point, Why is it that mens hearts are so much set upon the earth, to mind earthly things.

I give you briefly these Reasons for it.

First, The things of the earth appear real to them, but spiritual and heavenly things be but a notion: Now that that hath reality in it, takes with the heart most; though men are deceived in this, for the Scripture speaks of spiritual things as the only real things, and earthly things as that that hath no being at all; in Prov. 23. 15. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not, (speaking of the riches of the world) it hath no reality at all in it. But in the 8. Prov. 20. 21. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of Judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; to inherit that which is, that which hath a being, other things they are not, the honors of the earth are but a fantasie and vain shew; you have read of Bernice and Agrippa, They came with much Pomp, with great Fansie, so the original is: but to an earthly man these earthly things are real things, and therefore he minds them: and wisdom is a lye unto a fool.

Secondly, These things they look upon as the present necessary things, though the Scripture tells us, but of one thing that is necessary, but yet they think that these are present now, they may have need of heavenly things hereafter: They may have need of reconciliation with God, pardon of sin, peace of conscience, and such things, they may have need of them, that is, when they depart out of this life. Oh! the infinite folly of most hearts to think, that there is no present necessity of spiritual and heavenly things, whereas indeed, our life consists in them for the present, This is eternal life: we may come here in this world to enjoy eternal life; but the generality of people they look upon all spiritual things only as our good for the future, when we go from hence and are seen no more.

Thirdly, These things are most sutable to mens hearts. It's no wonder that they mind earthly things; They are of the earth, and from the earth, they have nothing but the first Adam in them; now the first man was from the earth earthly. The truth is, the happiness of mans estate even in innocency in the morning of the day of his creation in comparison of the things that are now reveal'd by the Gospel, was but earthly: take man when he was in Paradice, that Paradice was but earthly: but then take man in his fallen and corrupt estate then he must needs be earthly, and every thing closes with that that is sutable to it: comfort, it doth not come so much from the goodness of a thing but from the sutablness of the object with the facultie. Now the things of the earth, they are sutable to men that are of the earth, and therefore they mind them: the heart will abundantly run out upon that which is sutable to it.

Fourthly, These things of the earth have a very fair shew in the flesh, they have a kind of goodly appearance in the eye of sence, yea, and in the eye of that reason that is now corrupted by sin; we have a most elegant expression of these earthly things, and earthly minded men having their hearts set upon these things, it is in the 6. to the Gal. 12. verse, As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh saith the Scripture, the words are to signifie when a man looks smug and neat, as you shall have some men dresse themselves curiously, and having handsome bodys they look so trim, fine, handsome, and very brave to the eye of all that do behold them. So saith he, these men that are the false teachers, they desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, that is, they look upon the things of the flesh as those things that are very brave to the eye, and they love to have all things so compleat about them, that they may look smug, and carry themselves with such beauty before the Page 66 world; Oh! this is their happiness, this they take content in, they seem to have fine estates, and to have brave cloathing, and all curious things about them, this looks so brave in the eyes of the world, and therefore it is that their hearts are upon them, they are here enemies to the Crosse of Christ, they think suffering for Christ, poverty, disgrace looks but untowardly. But now, those that desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, that would have their countenances well wash'd, fair, and beautiful wheresoever they come, and be as sombody in the world, these do thus and thus, these forsake the truths of God, and seek to provide for themselves in the things of the flesh.

Fifthly, Men naturally never knew better things than the things of the earth: and therefore no marvel though they mind earthly things so much: Children that are born in a dungeon and never knew any better place, they can play up and down in the dungeon: So it is with men that never knew what the things of heaven and eternal life meant, they can mind earthly things better than those: but when once the Lord opens the eyes of their understandings to see into the reality, excellency, and glory of spiritual things, they then wonder at their former blindness in minding such poor, low, mean foolish rattles, as the things of the earth are.

Sixtly, There are earthly principles continually dropt into men by converse with other men that are men of the earth: 49. Psal. 11. and 13. Their inward thoughts is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling place to all generations, they call their lands after their own names. Their hearts are set upon these things, then in the 13. verse, This their way is their folly, yet their posterity approve their sayings. They are applauded by men, they see that every body do applaud them in these waies, and when they converse one with another, they do converse about the things of the earth, and the common example of men, they see every body following the things of the earth, and are greedy after these toyes, and that likewise doth incline their minds to the things of the earth.

Lastly, The sensible experience they have had of the sweetnesse that there is in the things of the earth: This is that that takes off their minds from spiritual things, and makes them to mind the things of the earth. But though these be the reasons why men do thus mind the things of the earth, and an earthly-minded man blesses himself in his way, and thinks he hath good reason for what he doth, and thinks all men fools that do not grovel in the ground like a mole with himself, and looks upon the matter of Religion but as meer words and talk, let them do what they will, I find contentment here: yet certainly at length it will prove folly, this their way, as the holy Ghost saith in the 49 Psal. This their way it is but their folly, and in the end the wise men of the earth, those that have sought the things of the earth, and blesse themselves in their way, they will prove to be the greatest fools, the holy Ghost accounts them so: In the 17. of Jere. 11. verse, As the Partridge sitteth on eggs and hatcheth them not, so he that getteth riches and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his daies, and at his end shall be a fool. He applauds himself for the present in what he hath got, but at the end he shall be a fool.

CHAP. V.

NOW the main thing that is still behind in the Point, It is therefore to endeavour to take off the minds of men and women from the things of this earth, that so by it I may make preparation to the next Point, which is of infinite concernment, The Conversations in Heaven. But because their conversations cannot be in Heaven till their minds be taken off from the earth, till the disease of Earthly-mindednesse be cur'd; therefore we must now propound those things that may help to take off the minds of men from the earth.

Eleven Considerations to take off mens hearts from Earthly-mindedness.

First, Consider this, That all the things of the earth that thy mind and heart is upon, if thou couldst possess them all as thine own, yet there is not so much good in them as to countervail the evil of the least sin, not of the least sin of thought; thy heart is mudling upon the things of the earth, and thinkest that thou shouldest be blest if thou hadst thus and thus as others have. Let me tell thee, if thou hast but one sinful thought, there is more evil in that than there's good in all that ever thou shalt get all the daies of thy life in the world; and if this be so, that there is more evil in the least fin than there is good in all the things of the earth, it concerns thee rather to have thy mind how to avoid sin, or how to get the evil of sin to be remov'd, and how to get thy sin to be mortified, that concerns thee more than the minding and plodding about the things of the earth: that's one consideration.

A Second Consideration.

A second is this that may take off the hearts of men from the things of the earth, That the chief things that are in the earth yea, name what terrene excellency possibly a man may be crowned with under Heaven, hath been the portion of Reprobates heretofore, and is to this day, and shall be the portion of multitudes whom God hates, and hath set apart to glorifie his infinite Justice upon eternally. Shall thy mind and heart be set upon such things as are the portion of Reprobates? will a Reprobates portion content thee? will it serve thee? art thou satisfied with dogs meat? If it will not content thee, why is it that thy mind is so much upon the things of the earth? It may be thou that art poor and mean in the world; thy mind is upon some little matter: thou canst never expect to have any great things in the world, and yet thou mindest them as if that there were thy portion, and thy happiness, some small pittance to furnish thy house, to provide for thy self and thy poor family; Oh friend! if it were possible for thee to get the Empire of the whol world under thy foot, yet thou shouldest get no more than hath been the portion of such as God hath hated; and if so be that Kingdoms and Empires have been the portion of Reprobates, why doest thou mind things that are lower abundantly, and let the strength of thine heart flow out upon such things as these are?

A Third Consideration.

A third consideration is this, Surely God hath made man for higher things than the things of this earth. Oh! if thou hadst but thy thoughts often working this way, Wherefore do I think in my conscience hath God made the children of men, for what end? why hath he sent them hither into the world? Of all the creatures that God hath here upon the earth, he hath none capable to know him the infinite First being of all things but only the children of men, & God hath given them such a nature as is capable of some converse with him, surely then there be other things that God made man for than to have meat, and drink, and cloathes, and here to live a while only to enjoy creatures. Do not we reade often, That Jesus Christ was God and Man, took mans nature upon him, and died for man? Surely there must be some other manner of things that are the fruit of the purchase of the blood of Christ than the things of the earth; Oh my brethren! had you but this setled upon you, that certainly God hath great, glorious, high, and wonderful thoughts about man-kind, this would be a mighty means to take off your hearts from the things of this earth, when thou hast thy heart grovelling here: Oh but are these the things that God made man for? had not God higher thoughts in making of the children of men? do not I find in the word that when man was made there was a kind of Divine consultation with the Trinity, Come, let .s make man according to our own Image? God had other thoughts of man than of other things. And if man were made for nothing else but meerly to dig in the earth, Certainly, the thoughts of God about man have been but very low and mean (as I may so speak with holy reverence) for these are but low and mean things here that men enjoy in the earth.

The Fourth Consideration.

As God hath higher thoughts concerning man; so the dignity of mans Nature, the rational soul of man is of too high a birth for to have the strength of it spent about the things of the earth. God breathed into man his soul: It's (I may say) a kind of a Divine spark, the soul of man it is of the same nature with Angels, a spirit as Angels are: the thoughts of the minds, the Faculties and Powers of the soul are more precious things than to be poured out as water upon the ground. If a man have a Golden Mill, he would not use it only to grind dirt, straws, and rotten sticks in. The mind of man, the thinking faculty is too high to be exercised in the things of this earth; the mind of man it is of a most excellent capacious Nature: it is fit to converse, not only with Angels, but with the eternal God Himself, with Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to bestow the strength of such a faculty that God hath put into the soul of man upon such dirtie, drossie, low, base, mean things, as earthly-minded men and women do bestow it upon, this must needs be a great evil. Know, the dignity of your Nature, the excellencie of your Mind, the Soul of man it is of a transcendent being. Put all the world into the Ballance, with it it's nothing. Therefore you know what Christ saith, What shall it profit a man, to gain the whol world, and lose his soul? The soul of the meanest gally-slave is more precious than Heaven and Earth, Sun, Moon, Stars, and all the host of them: Let me add then, all the Silver and Golden mines under ground; and al the unsearchable Riches of the great Page 71 and wide Sea, yea put all these together; and the Soul of the most contemptible beggar that cries for a crust of bread at thy door, is unexpressibly more worth than all these: Now, if mans soul be of such an high-born Nature, if God hath put such a Spirit which is a spark of Heaven into the bosom, for man of him to imploy it in no other use and service, but meerly to be an earth-worm to creep in and upon the ground: this must needs be a very great evil.

The Fifth Consideration.

The fifth Consideration is, The uncertainty of all these things, uncertain Riches. How may any Causality come and take away from thee all the things of the earth that thy mind is upon? God sends but a little too much heat into the body, and puts thee into a feavour, and where's thy delight then? thy body being either too much heated, or too much cold, what's become of all thy comfort here in this earth? Thou goest abroad, and art dangerously wounded by an enemy, what refreshing then doest thou receive from all these things? Let me tell thee, thou art in the midst of a thousand thousand Causalities here, every moment ready to take away all the Comforts of the earth; and usually at that time (observe it) when the minds of men and women are most fixed upon the earth, that's the time that God hath to strike them in those things, they be then neerest to be depriv'd of the Comforts of the earth, when their thoughts and minds be most set upon them. As you know it was with the Rich man in the Gospel, when he was blessing himself, and crying to his soul, Soul Soul, take thine ease, thou hast goods laid up for many years; even that night (the text saith) this message came so him, Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be taken away from thee, and then, whose shall all these things be? And at that time that Nebuchadnezzer was blessing himself in the pallace that he had built for His Honor, then there comes a message to him from Heaven, so that he was presently outed of all his Court-vanities to graze among the beasts of the field. So you may find it in your own experience, that God hath many times then most crost you in the things of the earth, when your minds and hearts have been most glued to them: and it may be in mercy, yea, it's a greater mercy to be crost of these things at such a time, than to prosper in the midst of them; for it may be a good argument that God intends good to a soul, to crosse him at that time when he is most earthly. Oh! many that have been godly indeed, but yet have bin earthly minded, and have found God coming at such a time and crossing them in some earthly Contentment have seen cause to blesse God for thus dealing with them. Whither was I going? I was going altogether to the earth, and minding such things, my heart was set upon them, and God came in in a seasonable time, to shew me the vanity of my heart, and of those things that my mind was busied about; Oh it was a happy crosse that I had at such a season, there was much of Christ that did hang upon it. And that's the fift Consideration.

The Sixth Consideration.

Do but consider what's become of those that have been earthly heretofore, that injoyed the greatest accomodations of the earth, what's become of those men in former ages of the world, that lived here, and vapour'd so much in their generation, who but they at Court and in Citie, and had all the earth according to their desires? what's become of Agrippa and Bernice with all their pagentry greatness? now they have acted their parts and are gone off the common stage of the world, all their vanity is buried with them in one grave. What difference is there between the poor and rich when they die? they go all the same way; only they were for a little time, and flourished in the things of the earth, and now are gone, but have left a great deal of guiltiness behind them; look but to their example, and what's become of theme? and consider thy case must be as their's within a while, the wheel is turning round, which will bring thee as low as them, so that thou ere long must be numbred amongst the dead. Oh! it's a mightie means to take off our hearts from the things of this earth.

The Seventh Consideration.

Consider further, How short thy time is that thou hast here in this world. That's the argument of the Apostle, because the time is short, therefore let us use the world as if we used it not, therefore let our hearts be taken off from these things; we have but a little time, and a great deal of work, we have in this short winter day of life to provide for eternitie, now considering the great weight of the work that doth depend upon us here in this world, it may be a mightie reason for us to bid adue to all the things of this world; indeed if we had time enough for our work, and were sure of our time then we might spend it about trifles. If a man comes into the Citie to do business, of great weight and consequence, and hath but a little time to spend about it, he never minds any thing he sees in the Citie, never minds any body that comes by him, or any shews in shops, what braverie there is there, but goes up and down the streets minding only his own business. Oh! so it should be with us my brethren; consider the great work we have to do, and the little time that we have to effect that work in, there depends upon our little short uncertain inch of time matters of more consequence than ten thousand thousand worlds are worth and if we miscarry in this little time of our lives, we are lost and undone for ever, better we had never been born, or had been made toads or serpents, or the vilest beasts whatsoever, than reasonable creatures. Oh! have you so much time for the spending the very spirits of your souls upon the things of this earth, can you spare so many hours? Certainly if God did but make known to you what eternitie means, if the Lord did but cause the fear of eternitie to fall upon you, you would not mispend so much time as you do; many times though you complain for want of time for spiritual things, Oh how much time do you spend in letting out your thoughts and affections upon the things of the earth, more than you need?

The Eighth Consideration.

Consider therefore in the next place, That a little will serve the turn to carry us through this world. We are here but in our Pilgrimage, or in our voyage; now a little will serve the turn here for the carrying of us through this world: men will not take more in a journy than may help them. If a man that is to go a journy should get a whol bundle of staves and lay them upon his shoulder, and you should ask him the reason why he carries that bundle, why saith he, I am going a great journy, and I know not what need I may have of staves to help me; it's true, to carry a staff in a mans hand will help him; thus Jacob was helped by his staff over Jordan; but to carrie a bundle upon his shoulder will hinder him: Now a little will serve your turn, if you have but meat and drink, food and raiment (saith the Apostle) be content; and the servants of God in former time, past through this world with a very little, and manie of them the less they had, the more peace and comfort they had in God, and they were the more fit to die. I remember Ecolampagius when he was to die being verie poor, profess'd that he would not have been richer than he was, for he saw what a hindrance it was, and so he could pass out of the world with more ease and quiet a great deal; Certainly a little will serve the turn here: we say, Nature is content with a little; and if there were Grace it would be content with less; and therefore let not our minds be upon the things of the earth: we have not so much need of the things of the earth as we think for.

The Ninth Consideration

And then further, consider though upon our minding the things of the earth we should enjoy never so much; Yet there is no comfort, no good to be had in them any further than God will be pleased to let himself through them; they are but as channels to convey the blessing and goodness of God to us: Man lives not by bread, nor meat only, you are deceived to think that if you had such and such things you should certainly have a comfortable life, I say you may be deceived in this, for it is God in these that doth comfort the heart, there is a notable Scripture for this in the 62. Psal. where the holy Ghost saith at the 10. verse, Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery, if riches increase, set not your hearts upon them, do not mind them, why? in the 11. verse, God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this, That power belongeth unto God, if riches increase, set not thy heart upon them; let not your hearts and minds be upon riches, or any thing in this earth: why? God hath spoken once, twice have I heard, that is, again and again: God hath spoken effectually to me that all power to do any good belongeth unto him, it's not in riches, there's no power there for making of thee happy, but all belongs to him. This I confess is a spiritual meditation that earthly minded men will have but little skill in, yet where earthly-mindedness prevails in any one of the Saints, this may do him good, whereas the truth is, it is not in the creature, or creature-comforts can do me good, if I had a thousand times more than I have, I might be miserable in the earth, and have as little comfort as those that have least, and therefore let me set my affections upon things above, and not on things on the earth.

The Tenth Consideration.

Moreover lay this to heart, If you be godly God promises to take care for you for the things of this earth, and to that end that he might ease you of the burden of your care, cast your care upon God for he careth for you, and take no thought for these things, for your heavenly Father knows you have need of them, your heavenly Father takes care, See how he cloaths the lillies, and are not you much better than they? Now children they do not much mind the things of the earth to provide for themselves, because they know they have their father to provide for them; a child that hath his father and friends to make provision for him, it very much easeth him; but indeed those that are left fatherlesse, and friendlesse, they seem to have some excuse; I had need take care of my self for. I have no body to provide for me: I but the Saints cannot say so, they have a father to provide for them, and all the earth is the Lords as well as heaven, and the fulnesse of them both; now the earth being the Lords as well as heaven, the earth being thy fathers, why should thy care be so much upon the things of the earth? Let thy care be to do thy duty to thy father, to walk as a child, but let it not be for the things of the earth, thou dost as much as disavow the care of thy father for thee; and canst thou beleeve that God shall give his Son to thee and not give thee all things else? hath not godliness the promises of this life as well as of that to come? Oh! thou unworthy child that professest an interest in such a father, or unworthy Christian that professest an interest in such promises, and hop'st that God hath done such things for thee as he hath done, and yet hast thy heart in the things of this earth, as if the Lord had settled thee only here, and put thee to shift for thy self here from door to door: no certainly, the care of God is over his people in the things of the earth, as truly as it is over them in regard of spiritual and eternal things. Some men can think, at least they trust that they do trust God for their souls, but cannot for their bodies so well; but surely faith will teach thee to trust God for thy body as well as thy soul, for God hath care of both, and both were redeem'd by the blood of Jesus Christ, and hath told thee, that he that fears the Lord shall never want any thing that's good for him: Now these considerations may mightily prevail to take off the hearts of men from the things of this earth.

The Eleventh Consideration.

The last that I shall name is this, That all that are Professors of Religion, they are dead to the world, or should be so: nay, if you be truly Religious you are so, by profession you do professe your selves to be dead unto the world. The Scripture makes this argument to take off mens hearts from the things of this world, in the 3. Colos. 2, 3. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth: why? for you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Ye are dead, the Apostle writes to the Colossians, and yet he tells them that they were dead; the Scripture speaks much of the death of the Saints: As it's said of women that liv'd in pleasures in Timothy, that they were dead while they liv'd: so it may be said of Christians that they are dead while they live, dead to the world, I am crucified to the world (saith the Apostle) and we are dead with Christ, I find that some interpret that Scripture in the 1. Cor. 15. 29. Else what shall they do that are baptized for the dead? they interpret it thus, That all those that came in, which were Heathens and converted to Christianity and were baptized, they were baptized for dead men; that is, by their baptizm; now there was a profession that they did professe themselves from that time for ever as dead men to the world, baptized for the dead; you have it in some of your books over the dead, but the word is, for, and so it is translated in this last translation, For dead men: your baptizm is administred unto you as a sign of your profession, to be as dead men unto the world, so I find some carry it. This is the profession of Christians to be as dead men to the world; Oh do not dishonor your profession of Religion, for indeed there is a greater evil (as we said) for professors of Religion to be earthly minded than for any others, and yet how many are guilty of this? It's an observation of Luther, when God revealed himself to Abraham and told him, that he would multiply his seed; he made use of two similitudes, one was this, That he would make his seed as the stars of Heaven, and at another time God saith, that he would make his seed as the sand upon the sea shore; Now saith Luther, by these two expressions there is signified two sorts of Abrahams seed, there are some that are as the stars of Heaven, that are heavenly minded; There are others that are as the sand of the Sea: that is, There are some professe themselves to be of Abrahams seed but are of earthly spirits: Oh now, my brethren, we should labor to have such minds and hearts so as we should appear to be the seed of Abraham, as the stars of heaven, to be of the number of those that are as the stars of heaven, that is, through heavenly-mindednesse. But that we shall come to when we come to speak of the conversation of Christians, how it ought to be in heaven.

But now, if any one should say, May we not mind earthly things and heavenly things too?

Know there is a great mistake here, you cannot serve two masters, God and Mamon; and it's very observable that text of Scripture, in the 3. of Colos. 2. verse, mark the opposition, Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth: they are there opposed one to another: Set your affections or minds, for so I think it is the same word with that in my text, who mind earthly things. A man cannot look up to heaven and down to the earth both at the same time, there is an opposition between these two, between the earthly-mindedness that hath been opened to you, and minding of heavenly things.

I but you will say, For these things while we are upon the earth we have need of them, how can we do otherwaies but mind them? When we come to heaven, there we shall have dispositions sutable to heaven, but sure not till then? To that I answer, Though Christians do live upon the earth, yet they are not of the earth, there's a great deal of difference between one that is of the earth, and another that lives upon the earth: Christ saith concerning himself, that he was not of the earth, it's true, though he did live a while upon the earth, yet he was not of it: In the 3. of John 31. He that cometh from above, is above all, he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: now Christ while he spake these words he was upon the earth; but He was not of the Earth: And so it is with Christians, they are upon the Earth, but they are not of the Earth, they are a people redeem'd from the earth, therefore that's not enough: it's true, these things are things that we need, therefore we must not mind them, for so in the 6. of Mat. where Christ speaks against taking thought what we shall eat, or what we shall drink, or what we shall put on. Saith he, Your Heavenly Father knows you have need of these things; you have some need, I but you have need of other things, and greater need of other things than of these things, what need is there for thee to live upon the earth but in order to providing for eternity, and of living to the honor of Christ and the praise of his Gospel? I say thou hast no need of any thing on the earth but in subordination to higher things; there is no need thou shouldest live, but for some other end, and therefore let not that be any such argument to plead for earthliness, as indeed an earthly spirit is very witty in pleading for its self.

I shall close this Point with some Exhortation to you, and Directions about this Point of Earthly-mindedness.

CHAP. VI. EXHORTATION.

OH! considering what hath been delivered, I beseech you lay it seriously to heart, especially you that are yong beginners in the way of Religion, lest it proves with you as it doth with many that are digging of Veins of gold and silver under ground; that while they are digging in those mines for riches, the earth many times falls upon them and buries them, so that they never come up out of the mine again: and so it is with many that are beginning in the way of Religion, that are digging in the mines of Salvation, for unsearchable riches, for that that is abundantly better than gold and silver; now while you are thus seeking for grace and godliness, Oh take heed that you be not covered with the earth while you are digging in the world, but keep wide open some place to Heaven, or otherwise if you dig too deep there will come up damps, if the earth falls not upon you, yet I say, there will be damps rise from the earth that may choak you, if there be not a wide space open that you may let the air that comes from heaven in to you. Those that are digging into Mines they are very careful to leave the place open for fresh air to come in; and so, though thou maiest follow thy calling, and do the work that God sets thee here for as others do, be as diligent in thy calling as any, yet still keep a passage open to Heaven, that there may be fresh gales of grace come into thy soul, if at any time thou beest got into the world, if thou spendest one day and hast not some spiritual air from Heaven, take heed, there's a damp coming up that will choak thee. Oh! that Christians would consider of this while they are here below! I remember I have read of Austin in his Comment upon the 72. Psal the 19. vers. saith the text, They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him, and his enemies shall lick the dust: He in a wittie way applied it to earthlie-minded men, saith he, If you do so lick the dust, by this you will come to be accounted one of the enemies of God.

It's true, the scope of the place is different, but take heed that in this metaphorical sence that you do not lick the dust and so come to be accounted an enemie to God. You that would be accounted as friends and seek reconciliation with God, Oh do not lick the dust, to be alwaies here as Moles upon the earth, they say Moles, though they be blind, yet if they be without the earth then their eyes are opened, and then they shake and tremble: and so though the earth may close the eyes of men here for a while, yet certainly there will be a day when their eyes shall be opened, to see how they have gul'd and deceiv'd themselves. And now it's worse too in the time of the Gospel to be earthly-minded than at other times, it was not such an evil thing to be an earthly minded man in the time of the Law, when all the promises of God were carried in a kind of earthly way. Though I do not say that all promises that were made to them under the Law were meer earthly, but they were carried in an earthly way; therefore you shall find when God promises his people in the time of the Law what great mercies they shall have, it is by earthly expressions, as of gold and silver and such kind of things, and their promises for Heaven it went under the expression of living in the Land of Canaan as being a type of Heaven, now though they were taken with earthly things when God reveal'd himself to them in an earthly manner; yet now in the time of the Gospel, lift up your hearts for your calling is from above, now there are Heavenly things revealed, he that is from above is come amongst us, and the Heavens are broken open, and the glory of it doth shine upon the Churches in a far more brighter manner than it did before. And therfore Gospel-light doth aggravate the sin of earthly-mindednesse, and therefore now above all times should the hearts of men and women be disingaged from the things of the earth

CHAP. VII. Five Directions how to get our hearts freed from Earthly-mindedness.

First
, To that end be watchful over your thoughts, do not take liberty to let your hearts run too far in the things of the earth, what time you have for meditation let it be as much as can be reserved for spiritual things; most men and women think they may take liberty in their thoughts; why the thing in its self is not unlawful, I but your thoughts will steal upon you and affect your hearts very much: therefore watch narrowly Over your thoughts, keep them within Scripture bounds.

The Second
Direction

Be much humbled for sin, That will take off the heart much from earthly-mindedness. Your earthly-minded men, who have earthly and drossie hearts, they have not known what the weight and burden of sin hath meant, let God but lay the weight and burden of sin upon the soul, it will take off the soul from earthly things quickly; Oh! those men that have gone on in the world in a secure condition, and never knew what trouble of conscience meant for sin, they grow seer'd in those earthly Contentments; but now those men that have had but the weight of sin lie upon them, know what it is to have to deal with an infinite God, in the bearing of the burden of the wrath of an incensed Deity, such know, that they have other things to look after than the things of the earth: If God did but humble your hearts, the humiliation of your spirits would quicken you, and take off the dulness and deadness of your spirits, and stir you up to look after other things than the things of this life.

The Third Direction.

Further, Set the example of the Saints before you, that have been the most precious servants of God, in former times; how they accounted themselves as Pilgrims and strangers here in the earth: read at your leisure that Scripture in the 11 of the Heb. at the 13. verse, These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were perswaded of them, and imbraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth: and mark therefore how it follows in the 37. verse, They were stoned, they were sawn asunder were tempted, were slain with the sword, they wandred about in sheeps-skins and goats-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. Who were these? They were they of whom the world was not worthy, They wandered in deserts, and in Mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth: and yet such precious Saints of God as the world was not worthy of. Now when we set before us how joyfully these servants of the most high went through all their wildernesse condition, this should make us ashamed of our earthly-mindedness, and would be a mighty help to us.

The Fourth
Direction.

And then if we consider the great account that we are to give for all earthly things; you only look upon the comfort of them, but consider the account you must give for them: this would be a means to take off the heart from earthly-mindednesse: And consider, what if you were now to die, and to go the way of all flesh, what good would it be to me to remember what contentments and pleasures I had in the earth?


The fifth
Direction.

But above all, the setting Jesus Christ before you, and Page 88 the meditating of the death of Jesus Christ: (I say) that's the great thing that wil take off the heart from the things of the earth: The looking upon Christ Crucified; how he that was the Lord of Heaven and Earth, yet what a low condition he put Himself into, meerly for the redeeming of us! The conversing much with the death of Jesus Christ deads the heart much to the world. In the 3. to the Philippians we have a notable text for that, in the example of Paul, he accounted all things as dung and drosse for Jesus Christ: at the 8. verse, I account all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but DUNG that I may win Christ. And then in the 19. verse, That I may know Him, and the power of his Resurrection, and the fellowship of His Sufferings being made conformable unto his Death. Paul desired to be so conformable to the very Death of Christ, that he accounted all things in the world but as dung and drosse in comparison of that; Paul had the death of Christ before his eyes, and meditated much on the death of Christ, and that meditation had a great impression upon his spirit, that made him account all these things as drosse, as dogs meat in comparison, and that he might have fellowship with the death of Christ, Perhaps some of you may think of the glory of Christ in Heaven, and that may for the present make you lesse worldly; but let me intreat you to meditate on the death of Christ, and know that there is an excellencie in Conformity even to the death of Christ, such an Excellency that may take off your hearts from the things of the world. It's said of the King of France, that he asking one once about an Eclypse, saith he, I have so much businesse in the earth, that I take little notice of the things of Heaven.

Oh my Brethren! for the close of all, I beseech you let not this be said concerning any of you, that you have such and such worldly imployments, that you cannot enquire after Jesus Christ. Plead not that you have such great businesse, that you have so much to do in this earth that you take little notice of the things of Heaven; no, surely, the Saints of God have their businesse in Heaven, (as we shall see God willing hereafter:) Their City Business, their Trading, their Aims, their Bent, it is higher than the things of this earth. There are things that a man may let out his thoughts and affections too as much as he will: This shews the vanity of the things of this world, that a man had need be very wary how much he minds them, he cannot enjoy the comforts of this earth without some fear: but now, when he comes to converse with Heaven, there he may let out himself to the uttermost; that shews the excellency of these things. And you that are but poor and mean in the things of this earth, be not discomforted, because there is a charg from God that men should not mind these things; surely there is no great matter in them, as God charges that we should not mind them: Oh the excellency it lies in things above which are heavenly and spiritual, where the Saints have their conversation.

But of this more at large in this following Treatise of Heavenly Conversation.

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A TREATISE OF Earthly-mindedness; PHILIPPIANS 3 - latter part of the 19TH verse

—Who mind Earthly things.

by Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646)

FINIS.
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Source: Text Creation Partnership (complete book in multiple files)

Part 1 - Chapters 1 & 2
Part 2 - Chapter 3
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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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