The One Book: Gospel Fear by Jeremiah Burroughs

A book that causes us to reevaluate something at the core of our identity as a child of God is a gem indeed.

Burroughs (1599-1646) exemplifies the Puritanism of the times well, with a deep love for his flock supplemented with powerful and theologically rich preaching. In fact, Thomas Brooks called Burroughs the Prince of Preachers for his passionate exposition of the Word to his flock. Published 28 years after his death by a group of friends who wanted the world to know Burroughs as they had, Gospel Fear is a collection of 7 sermons preached in the years 1643-1644.

 

Rare is that jewel of a book that alters one’s life, perhaps changing a perspective on some particular topic, or perhaps more importantly, altering one’s views about God or His unfailing Word. A book that causes us to reevaluate something at the core of our identity as a child of God is a gem indeed. Gospel Fear[i] by Jeremiah Burroughs is one such book, and one that I would wholeheartedly commend to the newborn infant Christian and the 80-year saint alike. And like a stream flowing through the pasture, it is a book that can be revisited again and again for refreshment of the soul and encouragement in our walk with the Savior. Perhaps this is ultimately the best indicator of a good book – one can read it every year and it never gets old. I hope by trudging through my frail argument that follows, you perhaps may be inclined to visit this stream even just once. And if you do, dear reader, I pray your soul be nurtured by it in the same way mine has.

Burroughs (1599-1646) exemplifies the Puritanism of the times well, with a deep love for his flock supplemented with powerful and theologically rich preaching. In fact, Thomas Brooks called Burroughs the Prince of Preachers for his passionate exposition of the Word to his flock. Published 28 years after his death by a group of friends who wanted the world to know Burroughs as they had, Gospel Fear is a collection of 7 sermons preached in the years 1643-1644. As is typical with this prince, these 7 sermons in Gospel Fear are built around only two passages: Isaiah 66:2 and 2 Kings 19:22.

Perhaps one could hardly imagine spending multiple sermons on just the simple phrases “…And that trembleth at My Word…” and “…Because thine heart was tender…,” but Burroughs deeply unpacks the meaning and significance of these words in Isaiah and 2 Kings. He explains them, shows their meaning and their relevance to his church, and yet not once is it tiresome or bland. The wellspring of truth in the Word of God is on full display in this man’s sermons. He says this about the authority and effect of God’s Word.

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