I must admit that Jeremiah Burrough's has me scratching my head, actually, more aptly put, recoiling in a number of circumstances.
I bring this up not to be a maverick, but merely to bring out a quandary that continues to rise as I read his text.
I am learning a great deal of contentment as I read, but I also find his continual departure into what seems to be self-abasement somewhat disturbing.
Now, don't get me wrong, I understand his point. I do. But something in me is troubled with he continually brings up the subject.
In a recent post, I was trying very hard to give him the benefit of the doubt as he was telling of us being less than dirt, insignificant, if we perish we will be of no loss, etc, etc.
But here he brings this:
"By contentment we come to give God the worship that is due to him. It is a special part of the divine worship that we owe to God, to be content in a Christian way, as has been shown to you. I say it is a special part of the divine worship that the creature owes to the infinite Creator, in that I tender the respect that is due from me to the Creator. The word that the Greeks have that signifies, 'to worship' is the same as to come and crouch before someone, as if a dog should come crouching to you, and be willing to lie down at your feet. So the creature in the apprehension of its own baseness, and the infinite excellence that is in God above it, when it comes to worship God, comes and crouches to this God, and lies down at the feet of God: then the creature worships God. When you see a dog come crouching to you, and by holding your hand over him, you can make him lie down at your feet, then consider, thus should you do before the Lord: you should come crouching to him, and lie down at his feet, even on your backs or bellies, to lie down in the dust before him so as to be willing that he should do with you what he will. Just as sometimes you may turn a dog this way or that way, up and down, with your hand, and there he lies before you, according to your showing him with your hand; so when the creature shall come and lie down thus before the Lord, then a creature worships God and tenders the worship that is due to him. Now in what disposition of heart do we thus crouch to God more than when we have this state of contentment in all the conditions that God disposes us to? This is crouching to God's disposal, to be like the poor woman of Canaan, who when Christ said, 'It is not fit to give children's meat to dogs', said 'The dogs have crumbs', I am a dog I confess, but let me have only a crumb. And so when the soul shall be in such a disposition as to lie down and say, 'Lord, I am but as a dog, yet let me have a crumb', then it highly honors God. It may be that some of you have not your table spread as others have, but God gives you crumbs; now, says the poor woman, dogs have crumbs, and when you can find your hearts thus submitting to God, to be but as a dog, and can be contented and bless God for any crumb, I say this is a great worship of God."
Am I missing something here? Why the continual self-abasement? He is right, before regeneration this is true. Further, we must have a proper respect for who we are, and who God is.
But, coming to God, completely, and utter base, He then lifts our head!
And when God lifts your head, what do you see? His face! Not in reality of course, but through the eyes of faith.
I understand, and am learning as I consider contentment, but this dog example threw me over the edge.
I am not a dog, laying on my back, with my feet flailing in the air.
I am sorry Jeremiah Burroughs, I am not going with you there.
In the beginning, God created me to be his son, not his dog. Proper fear of God? Yes. Dog flailing on the ground? No.