When Satan tries to lie to us about Christ. From ‘The Bruised Reed’ by Richard Sibbes.

Richard Sibbes (1577-1635)

“Since Christ is thus comfortably set out unto us, let us not believe Satan’s representations of him. When we are troubled in conscience for our sins, his manner is then to present him to the afflicted soul as a most severe judge armed with justice against us. But then let us present him to our souls, as thus offered to our view by God himself, as holding out a sceptre of mercy, and spreading his arms to receive us. When we think of Joseph, Daniel, John the Evangelist, &c., we frame conceits of them with delight, as of mild and sweet persons; much more when we think of Christ, we should conceive of him as a mirror of all meekness. If the sweetness of all flowers were in one, how sweet must that flower needs be? In Christ all perfections of mercy and love meet; how great then must that mercy be that lodgeth in so gracious a heart? whatsoever tenderness is scattered in husband, father, brother, head, all is but a beam from him, it is in him in the most eminent manner. We are weak, but we are his; we are deformed, but yet carry his image upon us. A father looks not so much at the blemishes of his child, as at his own nature in him; so Christ finds matter of love from that which is his own in us. He sees his own nature in us: we are diseased, but yet his members. Who ever neglected his own members because they were sick or weak? none ever hated his own flesh. Can the head forget the members? can Christ forget himself? we are his fulness, as he is ours. He was love itself clothed with man’s nature, which he united so near to himself, that he might communicate his goodness the more freely unto us; and took not our nature when it was at the best, but when it was abased, with all natural and common infirmities it was subject unto. Let us therefore abhor all suspicious thoughts, as either cast in or cherished by that damned spirit, who as he laboured to divide between the Father and the Son by jealousies, ‘If thou be the Son of God,’ &c., Matt. iv. 6, so his daily study is, to divide betwixt the Son and us, by breeding mispersuasions in us of Christ, as if there were not such tender love in him to such as we are. It was his art from the beginning to discredit God with man, by calling God’s love into question, with our first father Adam; his success then makes him ready at the weapon still.” 1

1 – Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax, The Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 1, (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001). Pg. 71.

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