Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's better than a good friend?

A good friend who buys you books!

As mentioned, I recently blogged a bit from a book that Chris, a fellow blogger on this site, bought me at T4G. But Chris isn't the only friend I have who buys me books. Nathaniel, who if memory serves me correctly used to post up on this site, also got me a book at T4G: The Excellency of a Gracious Spirit by Jeremiah Burroughs (Burroughs, Jeremiah. The Excellency of a Gracious Spirit: Delivered in a Treatise on Numbers 14:24. Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1995. Print.)

In the first chapter of this book by this well-known puritan, we are introduced to the following 'doctrine' which Burroughs will go on to explain and defend: It is the excellency of godly men to be men of other spirits, of choice spirits, differing from the common spirits of the world.

Burroughs uses the term "men of other spirits" because of the verse in Numbers that reads, "But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it." (Numbers 14:24)

Burroughs focuses on the 'otherness' of Caleb's spirit; what it was that made it different from those who brought back a negative report from the promised land.

Burroughs begins by differentiating the godly man's spirit from the spirit of the ungodly:
  1. "First, this other spirit has other principles, a better principle than the principle of the world." (6)
  2. "Second, this other spirit works by another rule." (8)
  3. "Third, it is "another spirit," that is, employed about other things." (9)
  4. "Fourth, this spirit is carried to other ends." (11)

Of these first four points, I found the fourth point most engaging. Here are a few quotes from that section.
At the highest point, the most excellent of the heathens, who had the most brave spirits the world had in their time, aimed no higher than to work according to reason, to satisfy the dictates of rational principles and a natural conscience. (11)

It is the glory of God to be the first cause and last end, and to work from Himself and for Himself. (11)

God has made the world so that He might have some creatures to make Him the highest and last end of all. (11)