This discussion of Puritan Richard Sibbes’ book, The Bruised Reed, began here. This particular work was originally published in 1630. Today we continue looking at chapter two. I will not outline the entire book–just enough to incline you to read it for yourself! It was a quote from this chapter that first drew me to read this book, namely that “there is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.” 1
In chapter two Sibbes discusses how Christ pursues His calling, and the depths of His mercy which we cannot fathom. “Shall we think there is more mercy in ourselves than in God, who plants the affection of mercy in us?” (page 7).
He also teaches on how Christ is revealed in various comfortable relationships toward us: husband, shepherd, brother, friend; as well as names of the mildest of creatures–lamb, and hen. He truly came in an effort to be gracious, to bind wounds, to bless the poor in spirit. “What mercy may we not expect from so gracious a Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) who took our nature upon him that he might be gracious?” … “The Lion of the tribe of Judah will only tear in pieces those that ‘will not have him rule over them’ (Luke 19:14). He will not show His strength against those who [humble themselves] (page 8).
“Let this support us when we feel ourselves bruised…If Christ be so merciful as not to break me, I will not break myself by despair, nor yield myself over to the roaring lion, Satan, to break me into pieces” (page 9).
“The consciousness of the church’s weakness makes her willing to lean on her beloved, and to hide herself under his wing…as does Christ most mercifully incline to the weakest” (Page 10).
“He has wounded and He must heal (Hosea 6:1). He thinks that those who walk in the comforts of God’s Spirit are the happiest men in the world. He trembles at the Word of God (Isaiah 66:2)…and is more taken up with the inward exercises of a broken heart than with formality…” (page 11).
“We must look on Christ, who was bruised for us, look on him whom we have pierced with our sins. But all directions will not prevail, unless God by His Spirit convinces us deeply, setting our sins before us, and driving us to a standstill. Then we will cry out for mercy. Therefore desire God that He would bring a clear and a strong light into all the corners of our souls, and accompany it with a spirit of power to lay our hearts low” (page 11). (Emphasis mine)
Oh what food for our souls–to ponder, to pray from. This chapter of Sibbes’ book in particular is a beautiful Easter time meditation. His desire for his readers is that Christ would indeed be the sweetest of all things to our souls.