I could write on and on, trying to give you more of a taste of my new friend, Richard Sibbes. But for now, I pass on to you these words from the final chapter of The Bruised Reed.
In conclusion and as a general application to ourselves of all that has been said, we see the conflicting, but yet sure and hopeful, state of God’s people. The victory lies not with us, but with Christ, who has taken on him both to conquer for us and to conquer in us. The victory lies neither on our own strength to get it, nor in our enemies’ strength to defeat it. If it lay with us, we might justly fear. But Christ WILL maintain his government in us and take our part against our corruptions. They are his enemies as well as ours.
Let us think when we are troubled with our sins that Christ has this in charge from his Father, that he not ‘quench the smoking flax’ until he has subdued all. This puts a shield into our hands to beat back ‘all the fiery darts of the wicked’ (Eph. 6:16).
Satan will object, ‘You are a great sinner.’
We may answer, ‘Christ is a strong Saviour.’
But he will object, ‘You have no faith, no love.’
‘Yes, a spark, of faith and love.’
‘But Christ will not regard that.’
‘Yes, he will not quench the smoking flax’ (or “blow out the faintly burning wick”).
‘But this is so little and weak that it will vanish and come to nought.’
‘Nay, but Christ will cherish it, until he has brought judgment to victory.’
And let all that has been spoken allure those that are not yet in a state of grace to come under Christ’s sweet and victorious government, for, though we shall have much opposition, yet, if we strive, he will help us. If we fail, he will cherish us. If we are guided by him, we shall overcome. And if we overcome, we are sure to be crowned.
Amen. Thank you God the historic gospel that still speaks.