Richard Sibbes on Christians Bearing with One Another

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Some excellent pastoral direction from Richard Sibbes (Works, Vol. 1, p. 57):

The Holy Ghost is content to dwell in smoky, offensive souls. O that that Spirit would breathe into our spirits the like merciful disposition! We endure the bitterness of wormwood, and other distasteful plants and herbs, only because we have some experience of some wholesome quality in them; and why should we reject men of useful parts and graces, only for some harshness of disposition, which, as it is offensive to us, so grieveth themselves?​
Grace whilst we live here is in souls, which as they are unperfectly renewed, so they dwell in bodies subject to several humours, which will incline the soul sometimes to excess in one passion, sometimes to excess in another.​
The best Christians in this state of imperfection are like gold that is a little too light, which needs some grains of allowance to make it pass. You must grant the best their allowance. We must supply out of our love and mercy, that which we see wanting in them.​
The church of Christ is a common hospital, wherein all are in some measure sick of some spiritual disease or other; that we should all have ground of exercising mutually the spirit of wisdom and meekness.​
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