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Hope Hardcover – July 11, 2005
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About the Author
Jeremiah Burroughs (1600-1646) harmoniously combined in his own person qualities that might be considered incompatible: a fervent zeal for doctrinal purity and worship and a peaceable spirit which longed and labored for Christian unity. It is said that his heart was broken by the divisions among the Puritan reformers in the 1640s and that this contributed to his premature death at age forty-six.
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Though Jeremiah Burroughs is personally not my favorite Puritan to read, I find him to be one of the the very easiest of Puritans to read. This book is no exception, and I would strongly recommend it to young Christians, women, and to friends/family as a short gift book.
But having read a few Burroughs' books before, I think he is at his very best when he is discussing the vanity of earthly pursuits. The SDG work, A Treatise on Earthly-Mindedness (I've blogged excerpts from this work before) is a marvelous work on this topic, and I mention it here because Hope also deals with a lot of the same thing.
Hope is a book with two separate sections, the first being and exposition of 1 John 3:3, and the second half of the book being a sermon on Psalm 17:14 entitled `The Misery of Those Who Have Their Portion in This Life`. I personally found the first half to be exceptional, with the second half of the book a little forceful and long-winded.
But the essence of the book deals with the phrase `purifies himself' in 1 John 3:3, where Burroughs rightly shows how the Christian's hope (i.e. the true Christian's hope, as opposed to a false professor's hope) is a a hope that purifies us, prepares us for and greatly anticipates the second Coming of Jesus Christ when "we shall be like Him".
I greatly benefited from Burroughs expounding on this `hope', as opposed to the `hope' of the ungodly, who prove by their lives that their professed hope really isn't the hope of Christ's second coming. Oh, what our churches would be like if this type of exposition took place in pulpits across America! The true `hope' in Christ is a hope that causes the saints to purify themselves, purge themselves from sin, and cast all of their hope in Christ to set things right at His coming! There is no room here for `carnal Christianity', or those who continue unabated in their sinful behavior, even after professing Christ.
This is a tough call. While the first part of the book (86 pages) is excellent, the second part of the book is simply average (63 pages). Thus given the shortness of the first half and the steep price of this nice hardback, I simply cannot rate it very high. If this book was cheaper, or if this book was simply the first half only, I'd rate it much higher, but because of these things I'm going to give it three and a half stars. If you can find it free to read online, or at a cheap price used, definitely pick it up.