Life of Faith 10: Repentance, Confession, and Joy

By Richard Sibbes

Look back every day to the passage thereof.  See how we have passed along, see what sins have escaped you; then come at night to God, confess and be sorry for all, resolve against all, crave strength against all.  Oh it is a fearful state to sleep in sin; better sleep in a house of adders and venomous beasts.  See also and watch every morning; corruption does cleave to all our best actions; we pass no day so, but we have cause to say, Lord forgive us our sins.  By this course we shall keep our souls free, being ready for death.  We shall by our particular reckoning, every day clearing the score, be ready for our great general pardon, and when trouble comes, have only that to encounter with.

I beseech you, therefore, put this in practice.  Be sure with the day to clear the sins of the day; so shall you live a comfortable life, for death, for sickness, trouble, or whatsoever, all our business lying in heaven then.

—”If it be thus, we need not care how we sin: it is but every day to sue out a new pardon.”

Oh beware, if our pardon be sealed, there must be confession, sorrow for sin, resolution with full purpose to do so no more; there must be arraigning, condemning, and judging of ourselves for it, because whatsoever we would not have God to do, we must do it ourselves.  Our time in getting this ransom sealed, is for the most part according to our sin.  He that has such a resolution to sin every day, because sin is pardoned everyday, he may go long enough without pardon, at least comfort of his pardon.

For though pardon of sins be pronounced, yet God has the keeping of joy in his own hand.  As David had his sin pardoned,—by the judgement of faith he knew this much—yet Ps. 51:8, how does he pray for joy, and that God would heal the bones which he had broken! He roared all the day, and still felt a pain like the breaking of bones.  The joy of the Spirit had left him.  This he cries to have restored.

Thus though sin may be pardoned, yet the more we sin, with little repenting, the longer we shall be wanting of joy; or, it may be, go all our lifetime mourning without comfort in such a case.

 

 

 

 

 

 


This common domain work’s language modernized in few places by this site.

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:15

By R.C. Chapman

“Behold, thou art fair; my love; behold, thou art fair: thou hast doves’ eyes.” –Song of Solomon 1:15

What though the law in my members be vile and corrupt? Thou, Lord dost teach me to hate the evil I do, and love the good I do not. Thou dost sprinkle me with Thy blood, and purge my conscience from dead works; and I can say before Thee, who knowest all things, it is no more I, but sin that dwelleth in me.  Sweet is my liberty, and holy and good, notwithstanding the flesh within me.

Mine outcry, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver?” –Romans 7:24, be tokens my freedom—slaves bend the knee and flatter; freemen fill their land with complaints upon a bare word of tyranny and while oppression is yet far off.  Lord, I comfort myself with double comfort.  I say within me, Consider, my soul, how that in thy weakness thy Lord’s glory in manifest, His strength made perfect! In this I rejoice! Yea, and will rejoice.

Moreover, my soul, know thou the day makes haste to come when that which is in part shall be done away; this body of death is not forever; but the workmanship of the Spirit of Christ shall endure forever; for “The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and the days of the mourning shall be ended.”—Isaiah 60:12

O my soul! In the first man, Adam, thou wast, with him, earthly, sensual, and devilish—in the Second Man, the Lord from heaven, thou art quickened and justified, and body and spirit shall be made like Him, free of infirmity and all pollution; thy conscience shall ever be pure—thine affections only love—thy body, once a house of clay, shall be fashioned like unto the glorious body of Thy Lord, and all thy members, once instruments of unrighteousness, shall forever be the instruments of love; Thy whole understanding, wondrously enlarged, shall know the riches of Christ, thy Lord, to be unsearchable!

O my Lord! While yet at home in the body I long after the deep humbleness of mind which shall beautify and be the holiness of thy glorified Church! Thou canst look on me as if I were already glorified with Thee. Thy love moves Thee to say, “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair: Thou hast doves’ eyes.”—Song of Solomon 1:15

 

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:14

By R.C. Chapman

“My Beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.” Song of Solomon 1:14

In this wilderness, O my Lord! Thou hast planted Thy vineyard—the Church, for Thy name, and Thou hast fenced it and enclosed it; Thy glory is round about us. We have walls of salvation which all our enemies cannot overthrow.  O glorious security! Shining forth in the midst of the adversary’s fury and mischief and cunning!

What thanks worthy of the benefit canst thou render, O my soul! Because of thy safety, in the midst of manifold dangers, within the fence of thy Lord’s grace and power. Those above—dismissed from battle—do they boast any other keeper than Jesus, who is thy boast? If left by Him, they would unassaulted fall, and sink into destruction: now they stand in the Son of God, the Shepherd of Israel; and thou, my soul, dost stand in Him, and by Him prevail over thine enemies!

He not only maketh thee safe, but showeth thee aslo thy safety. Thank Him for faith—thank Him again for assurance of heart before Him! He has separated thee unto Himself, and would have thee dwell alone while in the midst of His enemies.  Seek, then, no rest nor abiding city here, but retreat the bosom of Jesus; there lodge and rest.  Lord! I know it is Thy will and joy that so I should do; and since Thou hast given my Thy Spirit, and taught me to walk I the Spirit, my soul counts all things but Thyself as the small dust of the balance.

Man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain: I marvel at the grave folly of the wise, and the childish strife of the great ones of the earth. My heart pities them, prays for them; for I know they are but as hewers of wood and drawers of water to the congregation of the Lord.  They sink into brutes, while they would be as gods.  O Lord, I leave them their portion in this world, and find rest and peace in Thee! O teach me to sit at Thy feet, and keep me there! Let me dread the proud look, and every high thought; ever let Thy mind be in me.

Thou didst humble Thyself out of love; and in Thy grace, being rich in Thy Godhead, Thou becamest poor. And shall not I sink with Thee? Lord, open to me Thine humiliation and poverty; Thy low estate, when Thou was a “worm and no man” –Psalm 22:6, and let me be fashioned after Thine image, as I behold Thy stoop of love; so shall my heart be contrite, my spirit meek and lowly, and Thou shalt be unto me daily a cluster of camphire, that revives the spirit of the humble and the heart of the contrite!

Christian Love 17: If God so Loved Us

By Hugh Binning

I may briefly reduce the chief persuading motive to this so needed an so yearned for grace into three or four heads.  All things within and without persuade to it, but especially the right consideration of the love of God in Christ, the wise and the impartial reflection on ourselves, the consideration of our brethren whom we are commanded to love, and the thorough inspection into the nature and use of the grace itself.

In consideration of the first, as soul might argue itself into a complacency with it and thus persuade itself, “He who doesn’t love, doesn’t know God, for God is love,” 1st John 4:8.  And since he who has known and believed the love that God has for us, must certainly dwell in love, since these two have such a strait unbreakable connection, then, as I would not declare to all my atheism and my ignorance of God, I will study to love my brethren.  And that I may love them, I will give myself to the search of God’s love, which is the place, locus inventionis, then I may find out the strongest and most effective way to persuade my mind, and to compel my heart to Christian affection.

First then, when I consider that so glorious and great a Majesty, so high and holy an One, self sufficient and all sufficient, who needs not go abroad to seek delight, because all happiness and delight is enclosed within his own bosom, can yet love a creature, yes and even be reconciled to so sinful a creature, which he might crush as easily as speak a word, that he can place his delight on so unworthy and base an object, O! how much more should I a poor and very bad creature, love my fellow creature, often times better than myself, and for the most part, not much worse?

There is an infinite distance and disproportion between God and man, yet he came over all to love man.  What difficulty should I have then to place my affection on my equal at worst, and often better?  There cannot be any proportional distance between the highest and lowest, between the richest and poorest, between the most wise and the most ignorant, between the most gracious and the most ungodly, as there is between the infinite God and a finite angel.  Should the mutual infirmities and failings of Christians, be an insuperable and impassable gulf, as between heaven and hell, that none can pass over by a bridge of love to either? “If God so loved us,” should not we love one another?  1st John 4:11.  And besides, when I consider that God has not loved me only, but my brethren who were worthy of hatred, with an everlasting love, and passed over all that was in them, and has spread his robe over their nakedness, and made it a time of love, which was a time of hating, how can I withhold my affection where God has bestowed his?  Are they not infinitely more unworthy of his than mine?  That my love come together with God’s on the same persons, is it not enough?

 


This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.

Excerpts of Mercy

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Richard Baxter

The Conviction of Sin

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Hugh Binning

Christ’s Righteousness

Christian Love: T.O.C.

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John Bunyan

Merciful Appeal to Sinners

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R.C. Chapman

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: T.O.C.

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Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 1

Thomas Manton’s Merciful Appeals

John Newton “Benefit of Affliction”

John Newton “Those mistakes, blemishes and faults in others”

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Richard Sibbes Sweet Drops:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Life of Faith: T.O.C.

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