Friday, February 1, 2008

Review of Richard Sibbes--The Bruised Reed

Author: Richard Sibbes

Pages: 128

Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust

Price: 5.99 USD

Genre: Puritan Paperbacks

Quick Summary:

On the back cover Martyn Lloyd-Jones comments on this work by saying, “…Richard Sibbes, who was balm to my soul at a period in my life when I was overworked and badly overtired, and therefore subject in an unusual manner to the onslaughts of the devil…I found at that time that Richard Sibbes, who was known in London in the early seventeenth century as ‘The Heavenly Doctor Sibbes” was an unfailing remedy...The Bruised Reed…quietened, soothed, comforted, encouraged and healed me”. Even if our situation is not as dire as Lloyd-Jones, Sibbes’ work will still prove to be balm to the soul.

In this excellent work Sibbes concerns himself with mining the depths of Isaiah 42:1-3. He skillfully teaches us about bruised reeds, smoking flax, and Christ’s victorious government. This work will prove helpful to pastors and lay persons alike. For the struggling believer it will comfort and calm your doubting. It will remind you of the mercy of Christ and leave you in the arms of our gracious Savior. Sibbes continuously reminds us that, “there is more mercy in Christ than sin in us”. (13)

This work will also be highly beneficial for the pastor. Sibbes is a wonderful example of the grace and mercy that a minister of Christ ought to be; it is no wonder he was called the “sweet dropper”. The minister will be reminded by Sibbes not to, “pitch matters to high” (26) nor to “kill a fly on the forehead with a mallet” (30).

Ministers and layperson alike are continuously brought to the foot of the Cross in this beautiful work by Sibbes. It has proved for centuries to be a “balm to souls” and will probably be so until the gracious Savior that it represents returns in victory.

What I Enjoyed:

Everything would be an overly simplistic, yet true, answer. Therefore, it would be most beneficial to say what I enjoyed the most. This book is very Christ-centered, that is sweet refreshment compared to the mounds of man-exalting literature of our day. Sibbes does a marvelous job of setting up for us to view Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Risen One. As Sibbes points us to the Cross, he brings out of that three profound applications: that Christ mercy is full, we should be merciful, and Christ will reign victorious.

If you find yourself discouraged Sibbes will point you to the Cross and therein give you profound encouragement. If you find yourself bitter, harsh, or arrogant towards others, then Sibbes will hold your hand to the Cross and remind you of our Saviors grand mercy. If you are in despair over your remaining corruption, Sibbes will cast a vision of the victory of the Cross and pull you out of despair. Jesus is truly exalted in this work.

What I Disliked:

Honestly, there is nothing in this book that I disliked. If I had one complaint it would be that I have finished reading the book, I want to sit further under Sibbes teaching.

Should You Buy It?

Absolutely. I would suggest buying one for yourself; one for your spouse and each child; one for each person in your neighborhood; one for each member of your church; and just in case, you should buy one for your dog.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Check it out at sure to say whether it was helpful or not.

1 comment:

  1. Mike, seriously, your reviews are dangerous things. I really want to read Sibbes' work; thank you, brother.



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