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Quotes by Richard Sibbes


Self-emptiness prepares us for spiritual fullness.


God’s goodness is a communicative, spreading goodness… If God had not a communicative, spreading goodness, He would never have created the world. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost were happy in themselves and enjoyed one another before the world was. But that God delights to communicate and spread His goodness, there had never been a creation nor a redemption. God uses His creatures not for defect of power, that He can do nothing without them, but for the spreading of His goodness.


God is goodness itself, in whom all goodness is involved. If therefore we love other things for the goodness which we see in them, why do we not love God, in whom is all goodness? All other things are but sparks of that fire, and drops of that sea. If you see any good in the creature, remember there is much more in the Creator. Leave therefore the streams, and go to the fountainhead of comfort.


There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.


The winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified prepare the soul for glory.


Satan gives Adam an apple (fruit), and takes away Paradise. Therefore in all temptations let us consider not what he offers, but what we shall lose.


There can be no victory where there is no combat.


There are no men more careful of the use of means than those that are surest of a good issue and conclusion, for the one stirs up diligence in the other. Assurance of the end stirs up diligence in the means. For the soul of a believing Christian knows that God has decreed both.


The depths of our misery can never fall below the depths of mercy.


It is atheism to pray and not wait on hope.


God’s truth always agrees with itself.


It is a destructive addition to add anything to Christ.


Measure not God’s love and favour by your own feeling. The sun shines as clearly in the darkest day as it does in the brightest. The difference is not in the sun, but in some clouds which hinder the manifestation of the light thereof.


Those that look to be happy must first look to be holy.


In all their jollity in this world, they are but as a book fairly bound, which when it is opened is full of nothing but tragedies.  So when the book of their consciences shall be once opened, there is nothing to be read but lamentations and woes.


Christ chiefly manifests Himself in times of affliction, because then the soul unites itself most closely by faith to Christ. The soul, in time of prosperity, scatters its affections, and looses itself in the creature; but there is a uniting power in sanctified afflictions, by which a believer, (as in rain a hen collects her brood) gathers his best affections unto his Father and his God.


Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride.


Factions always breed fractions.


Confession is verbal humiliation.


See the contrary disposition of Christ and Satan and his instruments. Satan attacks us when we are weakest. But Christ will mend in us all the breaches sin and Satan have made. He “binds up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1). And as a mother treats most tenderly the most diseased and weakest child, so does Christ most mercifully bend down to the weakest people. He puts an instinct into the weakest things to rely for support on something stronger than themselves. So the vine clings to the elm. The church’s awareness of her weakness makes her willing to lean on her Beloved.


God’s goodness is near us. It is not a goodness far away, but God follows us with His goodness in whatever situation we are. He attaches Himself to us, He has made Himself close, that He might be near us in goodness. He is a father, and everywhere to maintain us. He is a husband, and everywhere to help. He is a friend, and everywhere to comfort and counsel. His love is a near love. He has taken upon Himself the closest kinds of relationships, so that we may never lack God and the evidences of His love.


It is evident that our conversion is sound when we loathe and hate sin from the heart.

Recommended Books

The Bruised Reed

Richard Sibbes