The Art of Divine Contentment, by Thomas Watson (Gale ECCO publisher, May 2010) 176 pp., paper $16.97 and The Rare Jewel of Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs (Lafayette, IN; Sovereign Grace, March, 2001) 108pp, pwper $7.99

For those who might want to wade into the writing of the Puritans, these two small books on contentment might be a good introduction. The books overlap a great deal and, if I had to pick one, I would choose Watson’s, but both authors provide a good flavor of how the Puritans attacked the issues of doctrine. In typical Puritan fashion both Watson and Burroughs are thorough, even exhausting, as they chase down their subject from every possible angle. Their writings are biblically based as they attempt to carefully exegete the Scriptures. They also rely a great deal on logical deduction to supplement what they are drawing directly from Scripture. Since these deductions are tethered to Scripture they are usually reliable, but caution is in order.

Watson and Burroughs both examine the causes of discontentment and the excuses for it, means of obtaining contentment, how to know if you are content, lessons that need to be learned, the excellence of contentment and “rules” and commands pertaining to contentment.

Burroughs, in particular, humbly admits his “shortcomings” in this area, and spends much time warning of the sin of murmuring.

I was able to purchase e-books for $.99 each—a small investment for a great deal of insight.