The Sweet Dropper: He is Our Portion

There is in him to supply all good and remove all ill, until the time come that we stand in need of no other good. It is our chief wisdom to know him, our holiness to love him, our happiness to enjoy him. There is in him to be had whatsoever can truly make us happy. We go to our treasure and our portion in all our wants; we live by it and value ourselves by it. God is such a portion, that the more we spend on him the more we may. ‘Our strength may fail, and our heart may fail, but God is our portion for ever,’ Ps. Ixxiii. 26. – Richard Sibbes in The Soul’s Conflict with Itself

The Sweet Dropper: More Sure to Rise from the Grave than the Bed

But the greatest trial of trust is in our last encounter with death, wherein we shall find not only a deprivation of all comforts in this life, but a confluence of all ill at once; but we must know, God will be the God of his unto death, and not only unto death, but in death. We may trust God the Father with our bodies and souls which he hath created; and God the Son with the bodies and souls which he hath redeemed; and the Holy Spirit with those bodies and souls that he hath sanctified. We are not disquieted when we put off our clothes and go to bed, because we trust God’s ordinary providence to raise us up again. And why should we be disquieted when we put off our bodies and sleep our last sleep, considering we are more sure to rise out of our graves than out of our beds? Nay, we are raised up already in Christ our Head, ‘who is the resurrection and the life,’ John xi. 25, in whom we may triumph over death, that triumpheth over the greatest monarchs, as a disarmed and conquered enemy. Death is the death of itself, and not of us.  – Richard Sibbes in The Soul’s Conflict with Itself

The Sweet Dropper: Your Corruption Least When You Feel It Most

Many out of a misconceit think that corruption is greatest when they feel it most, whereas indeed, the less we see it and lament it, the more it is. Sighs and groans of the soul are like the pores of the body, out of which in diseased persons sick humours break forth and so become less. The more we see and grieve for pride, which is an immediate issue of our corrupted nature, the less it is, because we see it by a contrary grace; the more sight the more hatred, the more hatred of sin, the more love of grace, and the more love the more life, which the more lively it is, the more it is sensible of the contrary. Upon every discovery and conflict corruption loses some ground, and grace gains upon it.  – Richard Sibbes in The Soul’s Conflict with Itself

The Sweet Dropper: How to Frame your Complaints

We see likewise here, how to frame our complaints. David complains not of God, nor of his troubles, nor of others, but of his own soul; he complains of himself to himself, as if he should say, Though all things else be out of order, yet, O my soul, thou shouldst not trouble me too, thou shouldst not betray thyself unto troubles, but rule over them. A godly man complains to God, yet not of God, but of himself. A carnal man is ready to justify himself and complain of God, he complains not to God, but of God, at the least, in secret murmuring, he complains of others that are but God’s vials; he complains of the grievance that lies upon him, but never regards what is amiss in himself within; openly he cries out upon fortune, yet secretly he striketh at God, under that idol of fortune, by whose guidance all things come to pass; whilst he quarrels with that which is nothing, he wounds him that is the cause of all things; like a gouty man that complains of his shoe, and of his bed, or an aguish man of his drink, when the cause is from within. So men are disquieted with others, when they should rather be disquieted and angry with their own hearts.  – Richard Sibbes in The Soul’s Conflict with Itself

The Sweet Dropper: The Art of Bearing Burdens

There is an art or skill of bearing troubles, if we could learn it, without overmuch troubling of ourselves, as in bearing of a burden there is a way so to poise it that it weigheth not over heavy: if it hangs all on one side, it poises the body down. The greater part of our troubles we pull upon ourselves, by not parting our care so, as to take upon us only the care of duty, and leave the rest to God; and by mingling our passions with our crosses, and like a foolish patient, chewing the pills which we should swallow down. We dwell too much upon the grief, when we should remove the soul higher. We are nearest neighbours unto ourselves. When we suffer grief, like a canker, to eat into the soul, and like a fire in the bones, to consume the marrow and drink up the spirits, we are accessory to the wrong done both to our bodies and souls: we waste our own candle, and put out our light.  – Richard Sibbes inThe Soul’s Conflict with Itself

The Sweet Dropper: Rejoice in Grief

Think of all thy wants, and of all thy sins; let them be never so many, yet there is more to be had in Christ than there can be wanting in thee. The soul that thinks itself full of wants is the richest soul, and that that apprehendeth no want at all, no need of grace or Christ, is always sent empty away. Grieve therefore for thy sins, and then joy that thou hast grieved, and go to God for the supply of all thy wants. The seeds of joy and of comfort are sown in tears and grief in this world; but yet we know we shall reap in joy in the world to come. – Richard Sibbes in The Glorious Feast of the Gospel

The Sweet Dropper: The Anatomy of a Holy Man

The Psalms are, as it were, the anatomy of a holy man, which lay the inside of a truly devout man outward to the view of others. If the Scriptures be compared to a body, the Psalms may well be the heart, they are so full of sweet affections and passions. For in other portions of Scripture God speaks to us; but in the Psalms holy men speak to God and their own hearts.  – Richard Sibbes in The Soul’s Conflict with Itself

The Sweet Dropper: Jesus Is No Slacker

“Therefore, as there is variety of excellency, so is there sufficiency and fullness in Christ. What he did, he did to the full. He is a Saviour, and he filleth up that name to the full. His pardon for sin is a full pardon; his merits for us are full merits; his satisfaction to divine justice a full satisfaction; his redemption of our souls and bodies a full redemption. Thus all he did was full.”   – Richard Sibbes in The Glorious Feast of the Gospel

The Sweet Dropper: Praise Me or Praise Him

“He that enjoys the glories of heaven, needs not the praises of men.” – Written by Arthur Jackson, James Nalton, and William Taylor concerning Richard Sibbes in their “Note to the Reader” prefacing Sibbes’ The Glorious Feast of the Gospel

The Sweet Dropper: A Warning to Fruitless “Christians”

It were better for a bramble to be in the wilderness than in an orchard.  – Richard Sibbes in Divine Meditations and Holy Contemplations