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Irenicum: To the Lovers of Truth and Peace (Burroughs)

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Soli Deo Gloria


Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs bares his pastoral heart in this call for God’s people to stop dividing needlessly. With doctrinal precision and care, Burroughs illuminates the sources of and solutions to common divisions within the Church. In a day rife with polarization and disunity, seek healing wisdom in this timeless work.


  1. The text opened, and suitableness of it to our times shown
  2. The evil of dividing between God and anything else
  3. Heart divisions on from another
  4. The first dividing principle: There can be no agreement without uniformity
  5. The second dividing principle: All religions are to be tolerated
  6. The question discussed, what should be done to a man who pleads his conscience
  7. They who are for a congregational way do not hold absolute liberty for all religions
  8. The third dividing principle: Nothing which is conceived evil is to be suffered
  9. Rules to know in what things we are to bear with our brethren
  10. The fourth dividing principle: Division is the best way to maintain dominion
  11. The fifth dividing principle: Every man is bound to profess and practice always what he apprehends to be truth
  12. The sixth dividing principle: What is in itself best must be chosen and done, not weighing circumstances or references
  13. The seventh dividing principle: It is obstinacy for a man not to be convinced by the judgment of many who are more learned and godly than himself
  14. The eighth dividing principle: If others are against what we conceive to be truth, we may judge them to go against their own light; the ninth dividing principle: Rules of prudence are sufficient to guide us in natural and civil affairs, and may as well suffice us in spiritual and church affairs; The tenth dividing principle (or, rather, vain conceit): Every difference in religion is a differing religion
  15. Dividing Distempers: what they are and how they cause divisions
  16. The pride of men’s hearts is the great dividing distemper
  17. Self-love, the second dividing distemper
  18. The third dividing distemper is envy; the fourth dividing distemper is passion
  19. The fifth dividing distemper is rigidness; the sixth, rashness; the seventh, wilfullness; the eighth, unconstancy
  20. The ninth dividing distemper is a spirit of jealousy; the tenth, a spirit of contention; the eleventh, covetousness; the twelfth, falseness
  21. Dividing practices: the first, the practice of the tongue; the second, needless disputes
  22. The third dividing practice: men not keeping within the bounds that God has set for them
  23. The fourth dividing practice: disorderly gathering of churches
  24. The fifth dividing practice: seeking to demean the credits of those men whom the Lord uses as instruments of God
  25. The sixth dividing practice: giving characterizing names to men that are names of division
  26. The seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth dividing practices
  27. The evil of divisions: they hinder much good
  28. The sinfulness of our divisions
  29. The woeful miseries of our divisions
  30. Cautions about our divisions, that we may not make an ill use of them, but try if it be possible to get good out of them
  31. The cure of our divisions; joining principles
  32. Joining considerations
  33. Joining graces
  34. Joining practices
  35. Exhortation to peaceable and brotherly union, showing the excellency of it


Irenicum is the best expression of Burroughs’s peace-loving heart, and it remains an enduring guide for Christians who want to promote peace among the godly. No doubt it is one of the most helpful treatises on Christian unity ever written by the Puritans or any other minister in the church.” 

—Phillip L. Simpson, author of A Life of Gospel Peace: A Biography of Jeremiah Burroughs 

About the Author

Jeremiah Burroughs (1599–1646) was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He was rector at St. Margaret’s, Tivetshall, from 1631–1636. Because of his nonconformity, he fled to Holland, where he was a colleague of William Bridge. Upon his return to England, he was chosen to preach to the congregations at Stepney and Cripplegate in London, two of the largest congregations in England.