Pink, Arthur W.
In this book the great Puritan Sibbes deals with the blessed gift of repentance granted to backsliders. By backsliders, he does not mean apostates. If anyone thinks that this message of the need for repentance does not apply to him or her because they have been blessed with the gift of salvation, they are mistaken. For many of the saints in the Scriptures are pictured as having repented. Thomas Goodwin cites David as in this class. In Psalm 51 we read of his abject repentance for his great sin. Peter, an experienced apostle, is told by the Lord Jesus, ''when you are converted, etc.'' For Peter was in the midst of bitter repentance. It does not take an earth shaking sin to call for repentance. Any falling back from, or stepping away from, the holiness required of each of God’s children needs the grace of repentance. Therefore, the message of Hosea 14, is here lovingly laid out for us all by Sibbes (whom his fellow Puritans named, ''the sweet dropper of England''.
Thomas Manton wrote of Sibbes, the ‘sweet and heavenly distillations usually dropping from him with such a native elegance as is not easily to be imitated.’
We need to pray for repentance, says Sibbes, to awaken from our drowsiness and sleepy condition. We must know our hearts!
We must repent of our trust in outward things. Having received the blessings of Heaven, are we spending much of our time dancing to the lures of the Devil? Redeem the time! Pray without ceasing!
God’s grace falls like dew on us every morning calling us to be fruitful for God that day. Grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ!
Hatred of sin causes a careful walk. Therefore, when one has been careless not to do so, there is need to repent and be converted again.
False or imprecise doctrine will lead us astray. Repentance, like doctrine, should be precise, and nothing unscriptural allowed in us.
A spiritually wise believer will gladly partake of the balm offered here.
Sibbes was an early Puritan preacher of considerable note. He was very influential in the lives of many of the later Puritans (such as Thomas Brooks and Thomas Goodwin). For Sibbes was both a great preacher and a great teacher, a counselor in the mold of Heaven. He was an expositor of note in his time, and so His works have always been much appreciated for their helpful and faithful Biblical teaching. His best known works are: A Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax; The Soul’s Conflict with Itself; A Fountain Sealed; The Fountain Opened; and this important book.