Not Sin, but Sorrow; Not Corruptions, but Crosses

Status
Not open for further replies.

jw

Administrator
Well, Master Sibbes, thank you for the correction.

Richard Sibbes ("Spiritual Morning: The First Sermon," Works, Vol. 6, p. 273):

[W]hat shall we say for ourselves, when we have tears at command for every trifle, for every bauble, and have not tears for sin and for the dishonour of God? If a friend cross us, we can weep; if an unkind word be uttered, we sob and grow sullen; if a loss or a cross befall us, we can pour out ourselves in carnal weeping and lamentation: but for the sins of our souls, for the sins of our friends, for the sins of our nation, for the unkindness that we offer to God, for the contempt that is cast upon his name, we cannot shed a tear; and were it now that we were ashamed of these things, the matter were less. But, alas! we take not to heart that we have not hearts to mourn, and we labour not so much as to grieve because we cannot grieve. In our carnal natural grief, we stand and plead, we think we have reason to mourn: I have lost such a friend and such a friend. We think we have cause to bewail our estate in regard of such outward misery as befalls us. But we see no cause, no reason to weep over Christ for the sins we have committed against God.

We think many times carnal sorrow, which in truth is but poison, will do us good, a great deal of ease; and when men have crossed us, and disappointed us, or dealt unkindly with us, we think we will go and weep it out; and when we have cried and blubbered a while, we think that we give ease to our souls, and content to our hearts. But when we come to spiritual mourning, which only is comfortable mourning, we think that undoes us. Many a man thinks he forfeits all his joy, all his peace, all his liberty, all his happiness, and he shall never see a merry day again in this world if he gives way to mourning for sin, to sound repentance, to works of humiliation, and examination of his own heart and ways. And hence it is that we do what we can to hold possession against the Spirit in sorrow and mourning. Oh misery! Oh unhappiness of ours! When we take things in this manner, when we take poison for cordial, and cordials to be no better than poison, no marvel though we have no more comfort of our tears and of our mourning; for certainly our mourning for the most part is not a blessed mourning. We mourn not for sin, but for sorrow; we mourn not for corruption, but for crosses: not because we have dealt unkindly with God, but because men deal unkindly with us. This is not a blessed mourning, and therefore it is that we find no comfort in it.​
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top