Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Richard Sibbes and the love of Christ

The puritan Richard Sibbes was called 'the heavenly Doctor'. Izaac Walton wrote of Sibbes:

Of this blest man, let this just praise be given,
Heaven was in him, before he was in heaven.

Here is a good summary of his life.
Sibbes' book 'The Bruised Reed' was instrumental in the conversion of Richard Baxter who said that the book 'opened more the Love of God to me and gave me a livelier apprehension of the Mystery of Redemption, and how much I was beholden to Jesus Christ'.

His writing exudes this character.Sibbes describes preaching as the lifting up of the banner of Christ's love'.'When the beauty of Christ is unfolded, it draws the wounded, hungry, soul unto him' (2:232). 'Christ is the object of all the senses. Beloved, he is not only beauty to the eye, but sweetness to the smell, and to the taste' (2:152). He describes the presence of Christ 'delectable as spices and flowers'.

The following are some precious quotations from Sibbes.

"seek for heaven in hell that seek for spiritual love in an unchanged heart"

"with the same love that God loves Christ, he loves all his."

"Love is a boundless affection."

"Love is the weight and wing of the soul, which carries it where it goes"

"Beloved, get love.. ..It melts us into the likeness of Christ. It constrains, it hath a kind of holy violence

"we are not as we know, but as we love"

The following article by Joel Beeke is very helpful. Richard Sibbes on Entertaining the Holy Spirit.