Thursday, July 6, 2006

The mercy of an infinite God

So many Puritan classics ... so little time! A good friend and I have decided to read through and discuss Richard Sibbes' (1577-1635) treatise, The Bruised Reed, which is based on a sermon series he delivered on Matthew 12:20:

He will not break a bruised reed or extinguish a smoldering wick,
until he brings justice to victory ..."

Sibbes highlights the mercy of Christ in dealing with the consciences of his people. God willing, I will post some notable excerpts here from time to time as we make our way through this remarkable Puritan exposition. Here's a gem of comfort from Sibbes' 'Preface to the Reader' (and he's just getting started!):

God knows that as we are prone to sin, so when conscience is thoroughly awaked, we are as prone to despair for sin; and therefore he would have us know that he setteth himself in the Covenant of Grace to triumph in Christ over the greatest evils and enemies we fear, and that his thoughts are not as our thoughts are, that he is God and not man (Hosea 11:9), that there are heights, and depths, and breadths of mercy in him above all the depths of our sin (Ephesians 3:18); that we should never be in such a forlorn condition, wherein there should be ground of despair, considering our sins be the sins of men, his mercy the mercy of an infinite God.

The Bruised Reed is available at, Amazon and other fine retailers. There's more about its author here and a good summary of the work by J. William Black at Fire and Ice.


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