Richard Sibbes (1577-1635): His life is a commentary on his inward man

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“[W]herever true wisdom and judgment are, there Christ has set up his government, because where wisdom is it directs us, not only to understand, but to order our ways aright. Where Christ as a prophet teaches by his Spirit, he likewise as a king subdues the heart by his Spirit to obedience to what is taught. This is that teaching which is promised of God, when not only the brain but the heart itself is taught; when men do not only know what they should do but are taught the very doing of it. They are not only taught that they should love, fear and obey, but they are taught love itself, and fear and obedience themselves. Christ sets up his throne in the very heart and alters its direction, so making his subjects good, together with teaching them to be good. Other princes can make good laws, but they cannot write them in their people’s hearts (Jer. 31:33). This is Christ’s prerogative: he infuses into his subjects his own Spirit. Upon him there does not only rest the spirit of wisdom and understanding, but likewise the spirit of the fear of the Lord (Isa. 11:2). The knowledge which we have of him from himself is a transforming knowledge (2 Cor. 3:18). The same Spirit who enlightens the mind inspires gracious inclinations into the will and affections and infuses strength into the whole man. As a gracious man judges as he should, so he inclines to and does as he judges. His life is a commentary on his inward man. There is a sweet harmony among God’s truth, his judgment, and his whole conversation.”

– Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), The Bruised Reed, p. 87-88

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Richard Sibbes (1577-1635): Truth is truth, whether men think so or not

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“Truth is truth, and error, error, and that which is unlawful is unlawful, whether men think so or not. God has put an eternal difference between light and darkness, good and ill, which no creature’s conceit can alter; and therefore no man’s judgment is the measure of things further than it agrees to truth stamped upon things themselves by God.”

– Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), The Bruised Reed, p. 84

 

Richard Sibbes (1577–1635): Pardon leads to obedience

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“This may serve for a trial to discern who may lay just claim to Christ’s mercy. Only those that will take his yoke and count it a greater happiness to be under his government than to enjoy any liberty of the flesh; that will take whole Christ, and not single out of him what may stand with their present contentment; that will not divide Lord from Jesus, and so make a Christ of their own, may make this claim. None ever did truly desire mercy for pardon but desired mercy for healing. David prays for a new spirit, as well as for a sense of pardoning mercy (Ps. 51:10).”

– Richard Sibbes (1577–1635), The Bruised Reed, p. 80

Richard Sibbes (1577–1635): We must consider ourselves as Christ does

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“…in case of discouragement, we must consider ourselves as Christ does, who looks on us as those he intends to fit for himself. Christ values us by what we shall be, and by what we are elected unto. We call a little plant a tree, because it is growing up to be so. ‘Who has despised the day of small things?’ (Zech. 4:10). Christ would not have us despise little things.”

– Richard Sibbes (1577–1635), The Bruised Reed, p. 17

Richard Sibbes (1577–1635) on “the sweet work of effectual calling”

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“As the minister speaks to the ear, Christ speaks, opens, and unlocks the heart at the same time; and gives it power to open, not from itself, but from Christ…. The manner of working of the reasonable creature, is to work freely by a sweet inclination, not by violence. Therefore when he works the work of conversion, he doth it in a sweet manner, though it be mighty for the efficaciousness of it.”

– Richard Sibbes (1577–1635), “Bowels Opened” in The Works, 2:63

Richard Sibbes (1577–1635): What a Comfort This Is!

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“What a support to our faith is this, that God the Father, the party offended by our sins, is so well pleased with the work of redemption! And what a  comfort is this, that, seeing God’s love rests on Christ, as well pleased in him, we may gather that he is as well pleased with us, if we be in Christ!”

– Richard Sibbes (1577–1635), A Bruised Reed, p. 2