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Jeremiah Burroughs was a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and for four years the ‘teacher’ of an English congregation in Rotterdam, to which place he had fled from the Laudian persecution in the 1630s. After his return from exile in 1641 he became ‘Gospel preacher’ to ‘two of the greatest congregations in England, viz: Stepney and Cripplegate’. He is worthily reckoned as belonging to the front rank of English puritan preachers. As such he played a prominent part in the Westminster Assembly of divines, but died prematurely before the Assembly’s work was concluded. Burrough’s writings, some published before and others after his death, were numerous, but The Rare–Jewel of Christian Contentment is one of the most valuable of them all. Its author was much concerned to promote (1) peace among believers of various ‘persuasions’ (2) peace and contentment in the hearts of individual believers during what he describes as ‘sad and sinking times’. The Rare Jewel concentrates upon this second aim. It is marked by sanity, clarity, aptness of illustration, and warmth of appeal to the heart. ‘There is an ark that you may come into, and no men in the world may live such comfortable, cheerful and contented lives as the saints of God’. Burroughs presses his lesson home with all the fervour and cogency of a true and faithful minister of God.
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