Gospel-conversation: wherein is shewed, I. How the conversation of believers must be above what could be by the light of nature. II. Beyond those that lived under the law. III. And suitable to what truths the Gospel holds forth. By Jeremiah Burroughs, preacher of the Gospel to Stepney and Criplegate, London. Being the third book published by Thomas Goodwyn, William Greenhil, Sydrach Simpson, Philip Nye, William Bridge, John Yates, William Adderly.
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646., Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680.

APPLICATION.

But by way of Application; and that shall be built upon the consideration of the point more generally; and upon the Rea∣sons that are named, why the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world.

From hence follow, thus much in the first place, That if the Kingdom of Christ be not of this world, then there is a happiness beyond the things of this world to be had; that we must certainly conclude and determin: If we beleeve this point, That Christ Kingdom is not of this world, we must lay down this for a certain and infalible ground that we may build upon, That there is a hap∣piness to be attained unto that is beyond this world, for sure∣ly there is a good in the of Christ, there is somewhat beyond this world for the souls of the children of men to look after as their cheef good, as their happiness; that's a confectory that follows from it. The Kingdom of Christ whatsoever it be, it's a glorious Kingdom, it is the Kingdom of His dear Son (as the Scripture speaks) and therefore very glorious: And all the glory of the kingdom of Solomon, it was but to typifie out the glory of the Kingdom of Christ; now that is not of this world: therefore there is some glory beyond that of this world: and it is a good sign of a spiritual eye and a spiritual heart, to be able to see an excellency and glory that is beyond this world; to be able to look higher and further than this world can: We think that all the good things that God hath to communicate to the children of men, should be here on earth; but I beseech you con∣sider of it: Can we think in our consciences that all the good things that God hath to cōmunicate to such as He loves should be here in this world? Certainly, no. Consider therefore that all the good things that God intends for his people are not of this world.

First, It's called, An evil world. Truly it's no great matter, and Page  160 we should not account much that the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world, if we consider these things:

First, That this world it is an evil world. Gal. 4. We are de∣livered from this evil world.

Secondly, It's a world, that the Devil (in Scripture) is called the god of, and the prince of this world; 2 Cor. 4. 4. Whose eyes the god of this world hath blinded. Surely all the good things that God hath to communicate to His Saints, are not of this world, that is an evil world, that is a world that the very Devil is god of it (in scripture phrase.)

Thirdly, A world all whose bravery and pomp and glory it is not of the Father. 1 John, 2. 16. you have an epitomy there of what the excellency of the world is; for saith he, All that is in the world, the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life: Un¦der these three heads are all things that the men of the world look upon as desirable; either they are the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, or the pride of life: But saith he, All that is in the world, is not of the Father, but is of the world. Surely the chief things that God hath to communicate to His Saints, are not of the things of this world; for all that is in the world, is not of the Father, And wouldest not thou have the riches of the Fa∣ther? 'Tis true, God is the Creator of all things, and hath the dispose of all things; but that that the men of the world look upon as the excellent things that are here, they are not of the Father, they are none of the good things that God the Father hath to bestow upon His children; and therefore surely, there is a happiness beyond the things of this world. Oh my Bre∣thren, that I could but so take off the hearts of people by this point from the things of this world, as to make them look after the Kingdom of Christ that is not of this world; for you see that all that is here in the world, the Scripture saith, it is not of the Father.

Fourthly, As all the excellent things are not of the Father, so the truth is, all the glory that is in the world it is but darkness, it is a dun∣geon of darkness to a spiritual eye: As the Bats can see in the night; so the men of the world they think they see some glitte∣ring here in the world; but in the language of Scripture, and to spiritual hearts, it is but darkness: Hence the Apostle Eph. 6. 12. Page  161 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world. Rulers of the darkness of this world are the unclean spirits, spiritual wicked∣nesses; the Devils are the Rulers of the darkness of this world, this world it hath a darkness in it, and therefore surely, the chief good things that God hath to bestow upon the Saints, they are things that are beyond this world.

Fifthly, The world knows not God, John, 17▪ 25. The world is that that Christ saith, doth not know the Father; Oh, righteous Father, the world hath not known thee. Take men that are the wisest of the world, and have all the wisdom that this world can af∣ford, it will not help them to the knowledge of the Father, the world knows not those excellent and glorious things that are of the Father.

Sixthly, The world it lies in wickedness, 1 John, 5. 19. (as some∣times I have opened that Scripture to you) Just as you see in a common shore, a carion, a dead dog that lies over head and ears in the mire or mud in a common shore, and in its own filthiness: so the whole world lies in wickedness, the wickedness of the world is like the common shore, in wch there is nothing but filth and dirt; and the world as a dead carion lies in its own pollu∣tions; surely, then there are other things that God hath to communicate to his Saints than the things of this world: and we should not be offended though the Kingdom of Christ be not of this world.

Seventhly, The world it passeth away with the lusts of it, 1 John, 2. 17. it is a notable Scripture for that: And the world passeth a∣way, and the lusts thereof; but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever, (speaking before of what was the glory of the world) and it passeth away with the lusts thereof. Mark, Not only the things of the world passeaway, but the very lusts to those things pas∣seth away: As now, men and women who have their healths, and live bravely for a while, Oh! how greedy are they for the contents of this world? how do they long and desire that they might have such a merry meeting with such friends, and such cheer, and such commings in; They make provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. But now (mark) within a little while, not only these comforts shall be taken from them, but the very lusts Page  162 of them shall passe away; that is, they shal have no mind in the world to them: Take a poor man that was wont to long for these things, when he lieth upon his sick bed, at the point of death, now he looks upon these things as those things that are dry leaves, he hath no mind to them, not so much as a phansie after these things, all the varnish of the things of the world are gone in his eyes, he tasts them no more than the white of an eg, yea, the desire of his heart is dead to them: as now, a man that lusted after drink, when his desire is satisfied, the very desire after it is gon; and one that liv'd in gluttony, when his body is a little distempered, the very lusts therof passeth away: surely there are other things that God hath for his people than the things of this world.

Eightly, There must be somwhat else besides the things of this world: for Christ Himself is not of this world, John, 8. 23. Are all the good things that the Father hath to cōmunicate of this world, and not Christ Himself of this world? Let me tell you, Christ is the greatest gift that ever was given, or possibly could be recei∣ved, and yet Christ is not of this world; therefore there is som∣what else besides the things of this world, that God hath for some of the children of men, that He intends good unto.

Ninthly, The Saints are said, not to be of this world, Joh. 15. 19. & 17. 14. If they be not of this world, then their happiness is not here, God hath other happiness for them than that which is here.

Tenthly, The Scripture makes it to be a sign of a child of wrath that he walks according to the course of this world (in 2 Joh. 2.) this is enough to describe a child of wrath.

Eleventhly, It's made a sign of one that is an enemy to God; and that's hateful before God, that is a lover of this world, Jam. 4. 4. And 1 Joh. 2. 15. He that loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; and the friendship of the world is enmity to God (saith the Holy Ghost in those two Scriptures▪) If so be that in the world there were the special things that God hath to communicate to the Children of men; certainly then God would have his peo∣ple to love the world, He would say, Love these things, for these are the fruits of my favor and love, these are part of the riches that I have to communicate to those that I intend good to; and Page  163 therefore delight in these, expatiate your heart in these: Oh me! saith the holy Ghost, whosoever loves the world is an enemy to God. And, if the love of the world be in you, the love of the Father is not in you: surely then here are not the things that God intends for the children of men.

Twelfthly, The world is that that shall be condemned: 1 Cor. 11. 32. That ye may not be condemned with the world▪ that notes that God intends to condemn this whol world, all these things are under the sentence of death, and all the men of the world are condem∣ned before God; and therefore these are not the things that men should so much look after to make them happy.

Thirteenthly, Take all the world together; the Scripture speaks by way of supposition, That a man may gain the whol world, and yet his soul be lost for ever; If one man could get all the world in to his possession and thereby lose his soul, it would be an ill bargain; the world then hath no such excellency in it as we should place our happiness in it; God hath something else for His people than these things that are at the best under Moon-vanities.

Fourteenthly, If Christs Kingdom is not of this world; then cer∣tainly those that are of the world are not of His Kingdom; for these two cannot stand together, that Christs Kingdom should not be of this world, and yet that these that are of the world should be of his Kingdom, if such as are of the world are none of his king∣dom, then certainly a worldly man or woman is not of the kingdom of Christ, Christ owns them not as under His king∣dom, they are Vagabonds and Runnagates not under the pro∣tection of Jesus Christ, not partakers of any priviledg of Jesus Christ.

Quest▪ You will say to me, How should one know when a man is a man of this world? The Scripture makes a plain distincti∣on of some that are of this world, and some not; the best of all you will say they have hearts worldly enough, and they desire to have the comforts of this world as well as others? well, though there are some, yet we had need look to our selves; to ex∣amine whether we be of the world yea or no, for there lies thus much upon it, that if we be of the world we are not of the king∣dom of Christ; now I would give you but these three notes of a man of the world.

Page  164Answ. The first is this, One that is a man of the world is such an one as could be content if God would let him live here in this world, and enjoy what he doth, he would be content for to live here for ever, and could be satisfied though he never enjoyed any thing from God but what he hath received here, if he might alwaies bold it. Here's an evident Argument of a man of the world, I mean such a man as hath health of body in this world, he hath for outwards as much as the world can afford any man, that for the properness of his body, his comliness, his health, he hath as much as the world can give, he hath convenient dwelling, with all accommodati∣ons belonging thereunto, and he hath the comings in of the world as much as his heart can desire, he hath his wife and chil∣dren about him, in which he hath a great deal of delight and content; now, I would but put it to this man, What sayest thou? would not this satisfie thy heart if thou mightest alwaies be here, alwaies have thy house, and gardens, and walks, and these co∣mings in that thou hast now, that thou mightest fare deliciou∣sly every day, and have the sweet and fat of the world, would it not satisfie thy soul, though God should never give thee any thing else but this?

I beseech you, in your own thoughts, answer even to God this question, and seriously look into your hearts, for you may know very much of your hearts upon the answer to this question, you may come to know what is like to become of you for ever, even from the answer that your consciences would give to this que∣stion: That man or woman whose conscience tels them that this would satisfie, then we may conclude, that surely that man or woman is of this world; because the things of this world would be enough for his portion: But now take a man or wo∣man that is chosen out of this world, that is of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, unto whom the Lord hath made known the things of another world and the excellencies of Jesus Christ, and such a one though it had ten thousand times more than it hath, though it had what possibly can be imagined, it would say, Lord, it's true, I am unworthy of the least crum of bread that I eat, or of the least drop of water, but yet it is not all the world, nor ten thousand worlds can satisfie my soul, for the portion of it, It is nothing but thy self, the unsearchable riches in Jesus Christ, Page  165 those blessed things that thou hast revealed in that glorious kingdom of thy Son, it's only that that can satisfie my soul for the portion of it; and if thou shouldest say, well, thou shalt have all the things in this world for thy portion and enjoy them for ever; I should account my self in a miserable condition, for thou hast revealed better and higher things to my soul; this would be the answer of one that is chosen out of the world that hath a gracious heart and is brought under the Kingdom of Je∣sus Christ.

2. A second note that I would give to know, whether a man be a man of this world or no, is this, A man of this world is one that accounts the possessions of worldly comforts, to be greater rices than any riches conteined in the promises; that looks upon the comforts of this world as real things, they have them in possession: But looks upon the promise, as that that hath but a notion in it, as if there were no such reality and excellency in the things of the promise; a man that dares not trust God upon his word upon his promise without seeing in a way of reason or sence how things may come in unto him for supply from the things of this world; this is a man of the world, he hath a promise, but things go very ill with him in respect of his outward estate, in respect of whatso∣ever by sence or reason he is able to discern, he looks upon him∣self as miserable, if indeed God would give him in the things of the world in real possession, that would satisfie him, but not the promise: This is an evidence of a worldly heart, that regards more the possession of the things of the world than the promise of God for provision for him; as for promises, he thinks that that man is but in a sad condition, that hath nothing but bare promises to live upon; here's a worldly heart that hath low and mean thoughts of the promises. But now, one who is taken out of this world, and translated into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, regards more to have a promise to live upon, than to have possessions to live upon: Promises in the word are greater and more real things to that soul than any Bills or Bonds from men can be, he can live better upon a Promise, than upon Bils, or Bonds, or Leases, or any such things in the world: Hast thou found such a principle within thee, that canst close with the promise, and canst bless thy self in the promises, I have title to, Page  166 and an interest in many promises in the Book of God, for life and godliness are more to me than all the treasures of Egypt, and though I do not enjoy so much in the hand as others, yet my heart hath enough, because it is possest by Christ, in whom all the promises are Yea, and Amen; that is, sure and infallible. God is faithful who hath promised; this is an argument that thou art taken out of the world, and taken into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ; but otherwise, thou that canst not trust God for thy outward estate, body and soul upon a promise, this is an evi∣dence of one that hath his heart set on the world.

3 A third sign of a man of this world, is this, A man of the world blesses those that are like himself, looks upon and measures the happiness or misery of other men, according to what they do enjoy, or ac∣cording to what they do enjoy in this world. They call the proud, happy; I mean by this they measure the happiness of other men, according to what they have of the world, and think that the meer enjoying of worldly accommodations is enough to make men happy, notwithstanding they see them to be very wicked and sinful, yet so long as they flourish as a green bay tree, yet re∣joyce in them and with them, yea, get themselves in the midst of the guilt that is upon them, when conscience (as a woolf in their bosom) flyes in their faces, yet they can blesse themselves in the enjoyment of outward comforts, and set that against any trouble of mind whatsoever, as if so be it were enough to make up their comforts: I have been at such a place, and contracted such guiltiness upon my soul, committed such sins, Oh! what shall comfort me now? well, he comes home, and sees all wel a∣bout him, his house furnished, his table spread, means coming in as a floud, and this quiets him: here's a worldly heart: whereas were the heart taken off from the world, the possession of al under Christ would never calm a conscience that hath any guilt upon it; when I have contracted any guilt upon my soul, although I see all well about me, Oh! till I have an assurance from the Holy Ghost the Witness of the Spirit, that the guilt of my sin is washt away in the blood of Jesus Christ, what wil all these do me good? I have these and these comforts, Oh! but I have an unclean conscience, a leprous soul: Doest thou set the good things here to countervail the evil of sin? Certainly, thou Page  167 art a man of the world, thy name is written in the earth▪ thou art but living dust and ashes at the best. And the world is like to be the only portion of thy soul, thou art a stranger to the King∣dom of Jesus Christ. That's a second Use.

Ʋse 3. The third Use should have been this: Here we see the main thing that doth hinder people from the Kingdom of Jesus Christ: What is that which keeps off men from coming under the Scepter of this King of Saints, from subjecting themselves to His Kingdom? Certainly, this point shews it cleerly, His King∣dom is not of this world, were the Kingdom of Jesus Christ of this world, then people would flock into it, Who would not joyn in such a Kingdom and be a member therof, where he could have worldly glory and pomp and riches and bravery; but now because it is not of this world, therefore they slight it: As I re∣member we reade in the Gospel of Herod, that when he heard of the great Miracles that Christ wrought, Herod sent for Christ, and he longed a great while to see Jesus Christ, but when Christ came, and he saw Him a poor, mean, contemptible man to the outward eye, he thought to have seen him to have done such and such great things, and to have been such a man as not the like upon the earth. But Christ contemn'd Herod as much as Herod contemn'd Him, and Christ would not shew his glory before Herod, but appeared in his outward meaness, and the text saith, Herod set Him at naught, he set Him at naught, when he saw him so outward contemptible: And so it is reported of the Roman Emperors, that hearing that Christ should be the King of the Jews, and that out of Davids stock there should come a King of the Jews, they sought to destroy all of that family that they could find out, and all the Tribe of Judah: But afterward, when they found out some that were of the Kindred of Jesus Christ, and saw that they were poor laboring men, that labored with their hands to eat their bread by the sweat of their brows, they set them at naught and contemn'd them; certainly, this is the great offence to the world, that the Kingdom of Christ is not of the world, and as Christ saith, Wo to the world, because of offences▪ so wo to the world because of this great offence, Christs Kingdom being so spiritual, hence it is that the world receives Him not, in 1. John, 10. And so in John, 14. 17. Even the spirit Page  168 of truth whom the world cannot receive: Mark, the world cannot receive the spirit of Truth, the world receives not Christ, and it cannot receive the spirit of Truth. If you speak of the world to men, then they savor of those things, come to a man and tell him of a good bargain on the Exchange, he will listen to you, and remember what you say, but come and speak to him of the great things of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, of the glori∣ous priviledges of that kingdom, only there's a sound in the air, and it passeth away, and takes no impression at all on the heart of one that is carnal, 1 John, 4. 5. there you have this exprest fully, the very guize and way of a carnal heart, They (saith the text) are of the world, therefore speak they of the world: and the world heareth them: those that are of the world, they speak of the world, and discourse of the world, and savor the things of the world, and the world heareth them; but now, let a man come and tell them of things that are heavenly, of a goodly Pearl, of Jesus Christ, they savor not those things; and they hear them not: Oh! 'tis from hence that men come not into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, because it is not of this world. What's the rea∣son that there are more comes into the Kingdom of Antichrist, than into the Kingdom of Christ? Revel. 13. 3. The whol world wandered after the beast, saith the text, because they are of the world, and Antichrist doth set up a worldly kingdom instead of Christs kingdom, and men that are of the world they flock after Antichrist, and hence it was, that your great rich men in places where the Gospel hath not been, they were Papists, or Popishly affected, so that therefore the Papists make outward prosperity to be one badge or sign of the true Church; hence it is that Popery is so sutable to worldly hearts, and the holy Ghost prophesied before hand, that the whol world should fol∣low Antichrist, only here and there a few poor ones Jesus Christ chuses out of this world to follow him, for His Kingdom is not of this world.

One Particular more, in a word, seeing the Kingdom of Christ is not of the world, then a worldly heart is the most un∣beseeming thing in one that professeth himself to be a Christian, of any thing that can be in the world: If Christs Kingdom be not there, certainly thy heart should not be there: Thou that Page  269 professest thy self to be of the Kingdom of Christ, which is spiri∣tual and heavenly, and yet thou a worldly earthly heart, I say, it is the most unbeseeming thing that possibly can be: what, for a Professor of Religion to have an earthly, covetous worldly heart?

By that that I have already spoken in shewing the vanity and the evil of the world, and the great evil of loving the world were enough to strengthen this use; but now that that I inten∣ded should have been to speakesp, ecially to those that are Chri∣stians, that have hopes that God hath made them partakers of Jesus Christ, and would be loth to lose their hopes in the good things of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ for 10000. worlds, & yet there doth remain much worldliness in their hearts to this day, surely, this not beseeming one of the profession that thou makest, it is no honor unto thy King, the Lord Jesus Christ; worldly Professors, they are great dishonors to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ; when there shall appear no difference between those that we account to be men of the world, and such as we hope are chosen out of the world; Oh! how is Christ dishonored by this? Look but upon the lives of Christians that profess Religi∣on, and one would think that the Kingdom of Christ were a Kingdom of this world rather than any thing else, for I say, to outward appearance, though it may be Christ may see some integrity within the heart, yet to outward appearance there is even almost no difference between them and the men of the world.

It doth become Christians to live so in their whol course, as to make it appear that they are men and women above the world, whose Conversations are in Heaven, that they do beleeve the Kingdom of Jesus Christ that is not of this world.