Tag Archives: Richard Sibbes

Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 7

Sibbes, Richard. Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 7. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001. 604 pp. $27.00. You can purchase Volume 7 at The Banner of Truth for $24.30. You can purchase the complete set of 7 volumes for $162.00 at Westminster Books or for a mere $10.00 on Kindle.

Introduction

I have reviewed many of Richard Sibbes’ books in the past. This is now the sixth of seven volumes in his collection of Works produced by The Banner of Truth Trust. It has taken me almost a year to get this far for a myriad of reasons, but one thing I know is that this set of works has been invaluable to my personal walk with the Lord.

Summary

Volume 7 contains 30+ sermons of Richard Sibbes from throughout his ministry as well as a number of his extant “other writings.” Also included is a bibliographical list of all of his known writings as well as a glossary showing where particular words were used. The indices, however, prove to be invaluable for those who are doing research on the specific texts he preached as well as the many topics on which he wrote.

Review

While this final volume in the 7-Volume Works of Richard Sibbes is comprised of the indices and glossaries and end of work materials, do not be fooled. There are a number of sermons that today’s believer would do well to read and become familiar with. Most of these sermons are under 20 pages in length with quite a few under 15 pages, this volume makes for a great devotional of sorts.

One sermon on 1 John 3:3, The Pattern of Purity, offers excellent advice on how to live in an age where lust seems to rule the day. Then you recall that this sermon was preached in the 1600’s and you realize that Satan’s methods have not changed.

The 7-volume series as a whole provides an excellent snapshot of what a puritanical ministry looked like over the course of a minister’s life. The cumulative effect is to show that the Word of God was and is powerful and to show that the Word of God applies to all people at all times in all cultures. In other words, the message of God’s holiness and our need of salvation never changes.

Recommendation

Chances are you have either already purchased the entire set in which case buying volume 7 by itself makes no sense. If, however, you are looking for a lengthy introduction to the ministry of the Puritans, specifically, Richard Sibbes, you would do well to purchase this volume as it offers a number of lesser-known sermons with a wide array of subject matter.

Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 6

Sibbes, Richard. Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 6. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001. 550 pp. $27.00. You can purchase Volume 6 at The Banner of Truth for $24.30. You can purchase the complete set of 7 volumes for $162.00 at Westminster Books or for a mere $10.00 on Kindle.

Introduction

I have reviewed many of Richard Sibbes’ books in the past. This is now the sixth of seven volumes in his collection of Works produced by The Banner of Truth Trust. It has taken me almost a year to get this far for a myriad of reasons, but one thing I know is that this set of works has been invaluable to my personal walk with the Lord.

Summary

Volume six contains the well-loved works Josiah’s Reformation, The Saint’s Comforts, and The Heavenly Conference. It also includes lesser known writings like Angels’ Acclamations and The Successful Seeker.
Each work is a series of sermons preached and then published by the Puritans.

Review

What more can be said about Richard Sibbes that I have not already said? He is truly a surgeon of the soul. Each sermon quickly gets to the heart of the problem as found in the sinner, which is all of us, and then slowly unpacks the healing balm of the Word of God as the prescribed cure. What I love the most about Richard Sibbes is his practical life applications of the gospel of Jesus Christ. On every page, and in nearly every paragraph, the reader is shown grace and mercy.

Perhaps more than any other volume, Volume 6 is full of well-known sermons by Sibbes thanks largely to The Banner of Truth Trust continuing to publish the individual sermons and series in the Puritan Paperbacks series.

Recommendation

At this point, I can tell you all day how much the Puritans have meant to my personal walk with the Lord. It would do you well to become familiar with a few of them. Specifically, Richard Sibbes. There are some Puritans who are tougher to read than others. Sibbes is tough only because he pulls no punches with his preaching and consequent writing.

 

Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 5

Sibbes, Richard. Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 5. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001. 550 pp. $27.00. You can purchase Volume 5 at The Banner of Truth for $24.30. You can purchase the complete set of 7 volumes for $162.00 at Westminster Books or for a mere $10.00 on Kindle.

Introduction

I have reviewed many of Richard Sibbes’ books in the past. This is now the fifth of seven volumes in his collection of Works produced by The Banner of Truth Trust. It has taken me almost a year to get this far for a myriad of reasons, but one thing I know is that this set of works has been invaluable to my personal walk with the Lord.

Summary

At over 540 pages, volume 5 contains the rest of everything Sibbes wrote regarding his exposition of the epistles of Paul save 1 & 2 Corinthians (Volumes 3 & 4). Also included in this particular volume is The Art of Divine Contentment and Salvation Applied.

Review

Personally, The Art of Contentment is one of those sermons of yesteryear that needs to be printed and distributed widely today. In our day and age of transient life and consumerism, there are many who struggle with contentment. Sibbes, surgeon as he is with the scalpel of the Word, cuts right to the heart of the matter and offers sound biblical argumentation as to how and why we are to be content in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each of these expositions (the individual sermons will be dealt with in volume 7) takes the reader deeper into the Word of God than most pastors are either willing or able to go in their own preaching. Though dated in language and cultural context, many of the applications remain timeless and offer the modern reader much food for thought in how we are to apply the Word of God to all of life.

Recommendation

The reason to purchase volume 5 as a stand alone is due in large part to the 20 pages of The Art of Contentment also known as The Art of Divine Contentment. This set has proven to be hugely beneficial to my soul and to my walk. Pastors, you would do well to read this book and be filled with practical applications from arguably one of the greatest expositors to have ever preached the Word. Christian, read and be fed.

Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 4

sibbesv4_scan-205x320Sibbes, Richard. Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 4. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001. 550 pp. $27.00. You can purchase Volume 4 at The Banner of Truth for $24.30. You can purchase the complete set of 7 volumes for $162.00 at Westminster Books or for a mere $10.00 on Kindle.

Introduction

I have reviewed many of Richard Sibbes’ books in the past. This is now the fourth of seven volumes in his collection of Works produced by The Banner of Truth Trust.

Summary

Volume 4 is the sequel so to speak of volume 3 in that it contains the rest of Richard Sibbes’ sermons from 1 and 2 Corinthians. These include the more well-known sermons like The Spiritual Man’s Aim and A Glance of Heaven. It also looks at his exposition of 2 Corinthians 4 which is more commentary than sermon, but gold nonetheless.

Review

As I continue through the Works of Richard Sibbes, I am continually challenged by his depth of study and application. As a pastor, I often feel inadequate to the task. When I read many of the Puritans, I find that I am inadequate to the task! One other thing I have found is that by reading the Puritans, I am ministered to. I do not think I can truly explain how important this is for Christian pastor or teacher or leader to have in his own life.

His work on 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 is pure gold. It is appropriately entitled The Excellency of the Gospel Above the Law. Reading this particular sermon in one sitting will do the Christian much good and, I believe, prove to be sweet balm to many a weary soul. In fine Puritanical fashion, Sibbes explains why so many Christians are struggling with joy and how the gospel frees us to truly enjoy life in light of Christ’s grace and mercy.

Recommendation

I have never been one to hide the fact that I love the Puritans for their depth of theological knowledge and practical application of the Word of God for our everyday living. While I realize that not everyone shares in my same excitement, I cannot recommend an era of writing more highly than I can the Puritans. They were saturated with the Word of God. Everything they wrote showed evidence of this truth. This volume of the Works of Richard Sibbes is no different. If you are wanting to study 1 or 2 Corinthians, you would do well to pick up this fourth volume.

Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 3

SibbesV3_scan-203x320Sibbes, Richard. Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 3. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001. 550 pp. $27.00. You can purchase Volume 3 at The Banner of Truth for $24.30. You can purchase the complete set of 7 volumes for $162.00 at Westminster Books or for a mere $10.00 on Kindle.

Introduction/Summary

I have reviewed a few other titles by Richard Sibbes (read those here and am currently working through the 7-volume set of the Works of Richard Sibbes.

Sibbes was a surgeon when it came to expositing Scripture. This third volume of the seven volume Works is a case in point. The entire volume is a commentary on 2 Corinthians 1. That is it. 550 pages covering 24 verses.

From The Banner of Truth Trust,

More than anything else, Richard Sibbes was a great preacher. He never lost sight of the fact that the best Christian counselling is done through the patient and enlivening exposition of the Word of God. Sibbes excelled as a comforter of the troubled and doubting, but he also possessed the rare gift of illuminating every passage of Scripture he handled by drawing out its significance for his hearers and readers. The republication of the Nichol edition of his complete works is a notable event for all who have an appetite for helpful and faithful biblical preaching.

Review

It is fascinating to me that Thomas Manton was the original editor of this particular volume. In fact, the original title as written by Manton offers more insight into why this is so long: “A Learned Commentary or Exposition upon [2 Corinthians 1] being the Substand of many Sermons formerly preached at Grayes-Inne, London…by Richard Sibbs.”

As you read this commentary you find that you are sitting in the pew listening to Sibbes as it were exposit week in and week out the Word of God – specifically, this one chapter of 2 Corinthians. The first chapters are typically introductory material with greetings and some groundwork for the occasion of the letter.

Sibbes, however, finds this first chapter fascinating and offers many doctrinal insights and personal applications and exhortations in what many might gloss over as being “unimportant” in the context of the entire letter.

For example, in dealing with 2 Cor. 1:11 where Paul writes, “You also must help us by prayer” (ESV), Richard states prayer “is not a work of gifts, but of grace. It is a work of a broken heart, of a believing heart” (p.183). In fine puritanical fashion, he continues on for seven plus pages on the doctrine of prayer.

Every phrase in the first chapter of 2 Corinthians is treated as such. It is no wonder this volume is 550 pages.

It is no wonder Dr. Sibbes was noted as one of the greatest preachers of the Puritanical era.

Recommendation

If you are looking for an example of what biblical meditation looks like, you need to read this particular volume. If you are looking for what in depth Bible study and exposition looks like, you need to pick up this volume. If you are looking for a quality devotional, you need to pick up this volume.

In other words, Volume 3 of The Works of Richard Sibbes is must reading for most Christians. I highly recommend this volume (as well as the entire set) to all Christians.

Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 2

Sibbes 2Sibbes, Richard. Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 2. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001. 550 pp. $27.00. You can purchase Volume 2 at The Banner of Truth for $24.30. You can purchase the complete set of 7 volumes for $162.00 at Westminster Books or for a mere $10.00 on Kindle.

Introduction

I have reviewed a few other titles by Richard Sibbes (read those here and am currently working through the 7-volume set of the Works of Richard Sibbes.

Sibbes was appointed a lecturer at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge. Later, through the influence of friends, he was chosen to be the preacher at Gray’s Inn, London, and he remained there until 1626. In that year he returned to Cambridge as Master of St Catherine’s Hall, and later returned to Holy Trinity, this time as its vicar. He was granted a Doctorate in Divinity in 1627, and was thereafter frequently referred to as ‘the heavenly Doctor Sibbes’. He continued to exercise his ministry at Gray’s Inn, London, and Holy Trinity, Cambridge, until his death on 6 July 1635 at the age of 58.

Summary

There are only five books included in this particular volume. They are Bowels Opened (Sermons on the Song of Solomon 4-6), The Spouse’s Earnest Desire After Christ, A Breathing After God, The Returning Backslider (a commentary on Hosea 14) and the Glorious Feast of the Gospel.

Review

As with most writers and pastors of the Puritan age, I believe they go to far with their allegorical understanding of the Song of Solomon, but the practical aspects and conclusions are extremely helpful. Specifically due to the modern-day relaxing of the view of the church.

For most Puritans, the Song of Solomon was meant to be read as a description of Christ and His relationship with the church. While that may be true today, it certainly was not the authorial intent of Solomon when he wrote it. Regardless, Sibbes makes some most comforting claims for the comfort of the believer throughout his sermons on these four chapters of Scripture. For example, God makes us good and stirs up within us holy desires.

His second book in this volume is a short look at the second verse of the first chapter of Song of Solomon and offers a treatise on the Christian’s need to earnestly desire after Christ.

The third book is an exposition on Psalm 27:4: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” Being the great surgeon he is, Sibbes offers an in depth look at how our every living moment ought to be consumed with Christ. He states that Christ is the object of the Christian’s desire and that we ought to be continually in prayer if we are to persevere in our desires.

In a poignant, and perhaps much needed look at Hosea 14, Sibbes looks at the way in which a backslider should return to the faith and also how we, as believers, ought to receive them. Perhaps Sibbes offers us a different perspective on Hosea, but one thing I  know, is that this particular book of the Bible is a bomb waiting to go off in many churches and Christian lives due to its portrayal of radical grace.

The final book in this second volume looks at the Gospel and is an exposition of Isaiah 25:6-9.  Of all of the books I have stated that the church needs today, it may be this book in this volume that is most needed. To understand just what a feast this gospel message truly is cannot be overstated. In just under 100 pages, Sibbes draws the reader into the beauty of the gospel and helps us to see how we have been starving ourselves with the modern gospel presentations and offering we regularly serve up to others.

Recommendation

In all honesty, I approached this volume as being one of the weaker volumes in the whole set. Turned out, I could not have been more wrong. Though I disagree with his understanding of Song of Solomon, I found his application to be appropriate. His look at Hosea 14 is a sweet balm for those weary souls looking to return to Christ. Christian, you should read that in order to be better equipped to minister to those who are hurting.

The final book, however, is  most needed. We need to know what the gospel is (ALERT! Most Christians can’t articulate it!) and know that it is the greatest offering we can give to anyone in the world today.

I do recommend this volume by itself if you are struggling with your affections for Christ or need to meditate on the necessity of the gospel. Ultimately, Richard Sibbes has never failed to offer me help and hope through his exposition of the Word of God.

Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 1

Works of Sibbes 1Sibbes, Richard. Works of Richard Sibbes Volume 1. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001. 550 pp. $27.00. You can purchase Volume 1 at The Banner of Truth for $24.30. You can purchase the complete set of 7 volumes for $162.00 at Westminster Books or for a mere $10.00 on Kindle.

Introduction

Richard Sibbes was born at Tostock, Suffolk, in 1577. He was converted around 1602-3 through the powerful ministry of Paul Bayne, the successor of William Perkins in the pulpit of Great St Andrew’s Church.

After earning his B.D. in 1610, Sibbes was appointed a lecturer at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge. Later, through the influence of friends, he was chosen to be the preacher at Gray’s Inn, London, and he remained there until 1626. In that year he returned to Cambridge as Master of St Catherine’s Hall, and later returned to Holy Trinity, this time as its vicar. He was granted a Doctorate in Divinity in 1627, and was thereafter frequently referred to as ‘the heavenly Doctor Sibbes’. He continued to exercise his ministry at Gray’s Inn, London, and Holy Trinity, Cambridge, until his death on 6 July 1635 at the age of 58.

You can read more of my reviews of Richard Sibbes’ writings here.

Summary

Volume one consists of A Memoir of Sibbes by A. B. Grosart, A Description of Christ, The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax, The Soul’s Conflict with Itself and Victory over Itself by Faith, and Safety in Evil Times. Along with several other sermons and a brief series on 1 Peter 4.

These works were edited by Alexander B. Grosart from when the first complete set of Sibbes works appeared back in 1862-1864.

Review

One of the most notable features to this first volume is the memoir of Sibbes authored by Grosart himself which is an excellent introduction the pastoral nature of Richard Sibbes. Much like the modern day JI Packer, Sibbes was very involved in writing and preaching as well as endorsing a number of other works and books for his fellow divines.

Personally, I was most struck by the words I found on one website as I was doing some research on this series that this first volume contains “all the works published during Sibbes’ lifetime.” I literally sat stunned after reading this. The Banner of Truth Trust has published 5 Puritan Paperbacks and one Pocket Puritan by Richard Sibbes. Upon comparing those titles with what is found in this first volume, only The Bruised Reed has been republished as a stand alone book. Every other book is based on Sibbes’ exposition of passages.

This makes this first edition invaluable as we can read today what Sibbes thought most crucial for publication in his day. Even these books that he published in his lifetime are expositions of passages. The difference is they seem to deal with extremely urgent issues of the day and a theme of perseverance seems to arise from the pages. The Bruised Reed and The Saint’s Safety in Evil Times certainly point to this need.

The Soul’s Conflict with Itself points also to the inner turmoil it seems every Christian faces regardless of the era. All of this helps us to understand why Richard Sibbes was known as the Heavenly Doctor. His messages are timeless and perhaps more needed today than ever.

Recommendation

Of the seven volumes in this series, if you are going to purchase only one, this is it. The Bruised Reed is worth the price of the volume, but to be able to set it in the context of the other published works during his lifetime is open your eyes to the need of the gospel every day. If you have never read Richard Sibbes, you are missing out. This volume will show you why.

A Heavenly Conference by Richard Sibbes

A Heavenly ConferenceSibbes, Richard. A Heavenly Conference Between Christ and Mary. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2015. 184 pp. $8.00. Purchase at Westminster Books for less.

Introduction

Richard Sibbes (1577-1636) was a Puritan preacher at Cambridge.  I have reviewed other works of Sibbes’ which can be found here. His most instrumental work in my personal walk was The Bruised Reed.

Summary

This 184 page book is an exposition from John 20:16-17:

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

In this book, Sibbes looks at the believer’s union with Christ and meant to help believers understand the benefits of being in Christ.

Review

As with any work by Richard Sibbes, you will quickly understand his pastoral care and wisdom as he unpacks the importance of this brief conversation that resulted in Mary’s running back to the disciples and letting them know Christ was alive.

In true puritanical fashion, Sibbes begins with the passage and then parses it out to the greater truths of Scripture while all the while applying the doctrinal truths to the life of the believer. In this case, it is the importance of the union with Christ and the hope we have because of the historical Jesus we worship.

Though this is not as dense (theologically thick) as most other puritanical works, it most certainly delves into the heart of the importance of  understanding the doctrine of Christ’s resurrection and what it means to have faith in Christ. In other words, this book is sorely needed in the church today.

Recommendation

This excellent little book is great to read at any time. I think, however, that it may be even more appropriate to read during the Lenten season. Understanding these truths will help many Christians to lean not on their own understanding and instead lean on Christ alone. I highly recommend this book.

Josiah’s Reformation by Richard Sibbes

Sibbes, Richard. Josiah’s Reformation. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2011. 176 pp. $10.00. Purchase at Westminster for less.

Introduction

Josiah’s Reformation is the latest in the Puritan Paperbacks Series published by the Banner of Truth Trust. This work was originally published in 1629. Sibbes “always sought to get under the superficial layer of his listeners’ behavior and deal with their hearts.” It is for this reason that Richard Sibbes is one of the more beloved of the Puritans by today’s readers.

Summary

Josiah’s Reformation is a compilation of four sermons preached by the Puritan, Richard Sibbes from Isaiah 57:15, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose Name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

In explaining the doctrinal truth behind this verse, Sibbes exposits for his readers from 2 Chronicles 34:26-28 and offers four keys to true personal reformation. He looks at the tender heart first and foremost as the only means by which one can be humbled. He next looks at the art of self-humbling and the art of mourning. Both are necessary if true reformation is to take place in the soul. The last sermon (4th chapter) is entitled the Saint’s Refreshing. Here the reader is treated to true nourishment for the soul.

Review

You do not pick up the Puritans and expect to read something light and fluffy that does not impact you for in the here and now as well as later on down the road. Josiah’s Reformation offers sweet nourishment for the soul on most every page. The chapter on self-humbling is much needed today with our “me-first” theologies. I have said that there is much pride in the pastorate and many will know this to be true. Sibbes sought to not only teach his hearers how to properly self-judge, but he also offers, from Scripture, the importance of keeping ourselves humble. The art is when we are able to maintain that proper humility.

Far from being a book that will “work you over the coals,” Sibbes will bring you time and again to worship the Lord who alone enables the Christian to accomplish anything resembling reformation.

Again, Sibbes offers a wonderful treatise on the art of mourning…over sin. Not just your own sin, but the sins of others including your own nation. When was the last time you grieved over sin? Chapter three on Josiah’s Reformation will take you to that place of grief over sin once again.

All in all, while the language may be tough for some to overcome, it is well worth the effort to take the time and read through Josiah’s Reformation. To do so will be to take a break from the craziness of the world and to bask in the glory of the salvation granted to those who believe.

Recommendation

I heartily recommend to any who call on the name of Christ as Lord and Savior this work by Richard Sibbes entitled Josiah’s Reformation. It may be best to sit down and read it one chapter at a time (there are only four which take about an hour or so to read), but it is also worth putting on your nightstand and reading a page or two in the evening and meditate on the contents while drifting off to sleep.