The Soul’s Conflict Within Itself, By Richard Sibbes (1577-1635)
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During his lifetime, Richard Sibbes authorized the publishing of only three volumes of his work. One is this current volume which has not been reprinted except for in his larger 7 volume compendium; the other two are collections of sermons under the titles “The Saint’s Safety in Evil Times” and “The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax.”
In taking Sibbes slowly the reader will find some of the most sweetly written paragraphs in puritan literature and theological preaching. It is a treatise on Psalm 42:5 and 11, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance…and my God.” Sibbes is an able master exegete who, many times, is thinking far faster than he is writing. His desire to see his thoughts explode upon the page occur frequently, but in a few spots, most angelically. This is not a work to read once. It is one to study, reread and then soak in.