Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Richard Sibbes on Relying on Christ.

Richard Sibbes was an early Anglican with Puritan leanings who lived between 1577 and 1635. He was best known for his preaching at Trinity Church, Cambridge and Gray's Inn, of the Court, London. His views of preaching and reformation of the Anglican Church put him at odds with then Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud. While Sibbes desired continued reformation of the Anglican Church, he was unwilling to separate from it as many of his friends had. His preaching influenced many famous Puritans, including: John Owen, Thomas Goodwin, Thomas Gouge, and John Cotton.

Here is a snippet from Sibbes' work, A Description of Christ, in which he points out the folly associated with reliance on other sources (whether Mary and the Saints, or works of self-righteousness) for salvation.

God in Paradise did choose a wife for Adam, so God hath chosen a husband for his church, he hath chosen Christ for us: therefore it is intolerable sacrilegious rebellion and impudency to refuse a Saviour and Mediator of God's choosing, and set up others of our own, as if we were wiser to choose for ourselves than God is. We may content ourselves well enough with God's choice, because he is the party offended [by our sin]. Besides, it is folly to go out from Christ, where there is all fulness [sic.] and content, to leave God's chosen servant, and go to any other servant, to any broken vessel. . . Therefore let God's choice and ours agree.

He later continues,

What is the ground of popish idolatries and abominations? They conceive not aright of the fulness of Christ, wherefore he was ordained, and sent of God; for if they did, they would not go to idols and saints, and leave Christ . . . [G]o out of Christ for nothing . . . He is a prophet wise enough, and a priest full enough to make us accepted of God. If we want grace he is a king able enough, and strong enough to subdue all our rebellions in us, and he will in time by his Spirit overcome all . . . go not out of him therefore for anything.

Amen, Dr. Sibbes.

No comments: