Christ is Best
In the Pocket Puritans Series
Or, as Sibbes originally titled it “St. Paul’s Strait.”
The Puritan preacher Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) really knew how to awaken and invigorate faith, love and joy in Christ in the hearts of his hearers. Taking Paul’s words in Philippians 1:23-24, Sibbes very ably shows that we will only begin to desire Christ above all else when we sense how much he loves us sinners, how much he has suffered for our forgiveness, and how unfathomably kind and merciful he is and has been.
We love him, because he first loved us (I John 4:19).
About the Author
Richard Sibbes was born at Tostock, Suffolk, in 1577 and went to school in Bury St Edmunds. His father, ‘a good sound-hearted Christian’, at first intended that Richard should follow his own trade as a wheelwright, but the boy’s ‘strong inclination to his books, and well-profiting therein’ led to his going up to St John’s College, Cambridge in 1595. He was converted around 1602-3 through the powerful ministry of Paul Bayne, the successor of William Perkins in the pulpit of Great St Andrew’s Church.
After earning his B.D. in 1610, Sibbes was appointed a lecturer at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge. 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.