Anthony Burgess on Christ’s Intercessory Prayer – Dr. Joel Beeke Sermon
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary: http://www.prts.edu
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THIS laborious and much distinguished puritan divine was the son of a learned schoolmaster at Watford in Hartfordshire, and received his education in St. John’s college, Cambridge, from which he was chosen to a fellowship in Emanuel college, merely for his merit as a scholar. He was much esteemed in the university for his piety and learning, and likewise for his superior tutorship and powers of disputation. Mr. Burgess afterwards became pastor of the church of Sutton Coldfield in Warwickshire; where his exemplary life, and conscientious labors, soon procured him an excellent reputation; and here he continued, diligently discharging the duties of his office, till the civil war had commenced, that the royal army, by plundering, insulting, and otherwise maltreating and threatening him and his family, forced them to retire to Coventry for safety. The officers of the king’s army were chiefly men of dissolute lives, who made a jest of religion; and the privates, having no regular pay, lived for the most part by plundering the people. When they took possession of a town, they rifled the houses of all who were accounted puritans; nor were they nice in their discriminations when occasions were pressing. Mr. Baxter says, “That after the battle of Edgehill, more than thirty worthy divines had retired to Coventry for safety from the soldiers and the fury of the rabble. The popular preachers, and persons of pious and godly lives, were the greatest sufferers; while such as prayed in their families, were heard singing psalms or repeating sermons, were accounted rebels, and most severely handled.” At the time that Mr. Burgess fled to the garrison of Coventry, it was full of men of this description, who had a lecture every morning, in which service lie took his regular course. About this time he was called to sit in the assembly of divines at Westminster, where he was generally and greatly esteemed for his solid learning and judicious deportment. He was repeatedly called to preach before the parliament, at their fasts and other public occasions. He was for some time preacher at Lawrencejury, and earnestly solicited, by the London ministers, to give a course of lectures against the antinomian errors of these/ times; which sermons were afterwards published at the request of the learned body at whose solicitation they had been given. “We, the president and fellows of Sion college, London, earnestly desire Mr. Anthony Burgess to publish in print his elaborate and judicious lectures upon the law and the covenants, against the antinomian errors of these times, which, at our entreaty, he hath preached, and for which we give him hearty thanks, so that the kingdom at large, as well as this city, may reap the benefits of those his learned labors. Dated at Sion college, June 11th 1646, at a general meeting of the ministers of London there assembled. Arthur Jackson, President, in name and by appointment of the rest.”
Dr. Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written, co-authored, or edited seventy books (most recently, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Living Zealously, Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage, Getting Back Into the Race: The Cure for Backsliding, Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace, Living for the Glory of God: An Introduction to Calvinism, Meet the Puritans, Contagious Christian Living, Calvin for Today, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, and Taking Hold of God), and contributed 2,000 articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. His Ph.D. is in Reformation and Post-Reformation theology from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He is frequently called upon to lecture at seminaries and to speak at Reformed conferences around the world. He and his wife Mary have been blessed with three children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia.