‘To read the work of a Puritan doctor of the soul is to enter a rich world of spiritual theology to feed the mind, heart-searching analysis to probe the conscience, Christ-centred grace to transform the heart, and wise counsel to direct the life. This series of Pocket Puritans provides all this in miniature, but also in abundance.’ — SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON
Richard Sibbes always sought to get under the superficial layer of his listeners’ behaviour and deal with their hearts, affections and desires. In The Tender Heart, he explains that those who are tender-hearted do not simply desire salvation; they desire the Lord of salvation himself. Only when a person is brought to love the Lord with heart-felt sincerity will they begin to hate their sin truly instead of merely dreading the thought of God’s punishment of it.
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.