The Disposition of God's PeopleRichard Sibbes (1577-1635) - One of the most eloquent and deep puritans.
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“Those that look to be happy must first look to be holy.”
An exhortation on the basic disposition of a Christian
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.” — 2 Corinthians 1:3.
We see here the heart of the blessed apostle, being warmed with the sense and taste of the sweet mercy of God, stirs up his tongue to bless God; a full heart and a full tongue. We have here the [over-flowing fullness], the abundance of his thankfulness breaking forth in his speech. His heart had first tasted of the sweet mercies and comforts of God before he praiseth God. The first thing that we will observe hence is, that
It is the disposition of God’s children, after they have tasted the sweet mercy and comfort and love of God, to break forth into the praising of God and to thanksgiving. It is as natural for the new creature to do so as for the birds to sing in the spring. When the sun hath warmed the poor creature, it shows its thankfulness in singing…it is natural for those creatures so to do, and we delight in them.
It is as natural for the new creature, when it feels the Sun of Righteousness warming the soul, when it tastes of the mercy of God in Christ, to show forth itself in thankfulness and praise; and it can no more be kept from it than fire can keep from burning or water from cooling. It is the nature of the new creature so to do.
The reason is, every creature must do the work for which God hath enabled it, to which God hath framed it. The happiness of the creature is in well-doing, in working according to its nature. The heathen could see that. Now all the creatures, the new creature especially, are for the glory of God in Christ Jesus. All the new creature, and what privileges it hath, and what graces it hath, all is, that God may have the glory of grace. Why then, it must needs work answerable to that which God hath created it for. Therefore it must show forth the praise and glory of God.
“Blessed be God,” saith the apostle (Eph. 1:3); and the blessed apostle Peter begins his epistle, “Blessed be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath begotten us to an inheritance immortal and undefiled, which fadeth not away, reserved for us in heaven” (1Pe 1:3).
From “An Exposition of 2nd Corinthians Chapter One” in The Works of Richard Sibbes, Vol 3, reprinted by Banner of Truth.
Richard Sibbes (1577-1635): highly regarded early Puritan preacher, who greatly influenced John Cotton, Thomas Goodwin, Richard Baxter, and others. Author of The Bruised Reed, The Soul’s Conflict within Itself, and numerous other works.