God knoweth we have nothing of ourselves, therefore in the covenant of grace he requireth no more than he giveth, and giveth what he requireth, and accepteth what he giveth.
Know, for a ground of this, that in the covenant of grace, God requires the truth of grace, not any certain measure; and a spark of fire is fire as well as the whole element. Therefore we must look to grace in the spark as well as in the flame. All have not the like strong, yet the like precious faith, 2 Pet. 1:1, whereby they lay hold, and put on, the perfect righteousness of Christ. A weak hand may receive a rich jewel; a few grapes will shew that the plant is a vine, and not a thorn. It is one thing to be wanting in grace, and another thing to want grace altogether. God knoweth we have nothing of ourselves, therefore in the covenant of grace he requireth no more than he giveth, and giveth what he requireth, and accepteth what he giveth: ‘He that hath not a lamb may bring a pair of turtle doves,’ Lev. 12:6. What is the gospel itself but a merciful moderation, in which Christ’s obedience is esteemed ours, and our sins laid upon him, and wherein God of a judge becometh the father, pardoning our sins and accepting our obedience, though feeble and blemished! We are now brought to heaven under the covenant of grace by a way of love and mercy.
Sibbes, R. (1862). The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes. (A. B. Grosart, Ed.) (Vol. 1, p. 58). Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson.
- How unworthy is it for dust and ashes, kneaded together in time, to strut against the Father of eternity! Much more unworthy for that which is nothing, worse than nothing, to quarrel with that which is only being, and equal himself with him that inhabits eternity.
- God is the most simple being; for that which is first in nature, having nothing beyond it, cannot by any means be thought to be compounded.
- It is impossible to honour God as we ought, unless we know him as he is.
- Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.
- True liberty is not the power to live as we please, but to live as we ought!