The Bruised Reed (Review by Josh Hicks)

The Bruised Reed

by Richard Sibbes

Concerning Richard Sibbes, Charles Spurgeon claimed “Sibbes never wastes the student’s time, he scatters pearls and diamonds with both hands.” With the same profundity and richness that typically characterizes Puritan works Sibbes, in The Bruised Reed, masterfully and beautifully deals with things like brokenness, humility, mercy, and grace all wrapped up in the greater subject of hardships, whether they be brought by persecution or one’s own sin. In a time where hedonism seems to reign supreme and commandeers the hearts of sinners and confused Christians alike, The Bruised Reed delivers a good dose of sobriety to those who would revel in their good circumstance.

Might it be if one is not under affliction of one sort or another that he has not been bruised, broken, or brought to the end of himself? And if not, has he, in his pride, been given over to his depraved mind, unable to hear the thunder of God’s voice which grants a man repentance? May it not be for you, me, or anyone! The wise Puritan writes, “This is such a one as our Saviour Christ terms ‘poor in spirit’ (Matt. 5:3), who sees his wants, and also sees himself indebted to divine justice…” and God lowers us “levelling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what indeed we are by nature.” Let the sinner see his suffering as God’s kindness which leads to salvation. Let the saint see his suffering as the means by which God perfects grace in the heart of His servant, mortifying the flesh.

With simple language and Biblical saturation, Sibbes encourages the Christian to take comfort in tribulation while looking to victory, to show grace to the weak, and to believe in Christ’s goodness to us despite afflictions undergone. I heartily encourage any and all to read this fine work and now I leave you with some words of wisdom from Richard Sibbes.

“In pursuing his calling, Christ will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax…he will not only not break nor quench, but he will cherish those with whom he deals.”