Richard Sibbes is widely considered to be one of the fathers of Puritanism in the seventeenth century. His passionate sermons and devotional works have persisted throughout the centuries and continue to influence modern-day scholars and people all over the world.
Taken from Matthew 12:20, Sibbes explains what it means to be a “bruised reed.” It is a metaphor which exemplifies the way in which God humbles sinners by allowing them to see sin in the way that he sees it—the lesson being that God sometimes wounds before healing, but with the ultimate goal of deepening our love for Christ.
Sibbes believed very strongly that “God’s love rests on Christ,” and often spoke of the comfort to be gained by acknowledging this. He preached that the same can be had for those who live in Christ and seek redemption for their sins.
Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), English Puritan, was appointed a lecturer at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge in 1610. Later, through the influence of friends, he was chosen to be the preacher at Gray’s Inn, London, and he remained there until 1626. In that year he returned to Cambridge as Master of St Catherine’s Hall, and later returned to Holy Trinity, this time as its vicar. He was granted a Doctorate in Divinity in 1627, and was thereafter frequently referred to as ‘the heavenly Doctor Sibbes’. He continued to exercise his ministry at Gray’s Inn, London, and Holy Trinity, Cambridge, until his death on 6 July 1635 at the age of 58.