We Owe God a Death

September 11, 2006

In preparing to give a lecture on Richard Sibbes (puritan preacher 1577-1635) up at Fourth Presbyterian Church tomorrow night, I’m reminded of how richly Sibbes rewards his readers.  He was a rich meditator on God and His Word.  On this day when tragedy reminds us all of that truth which we Christians know so well–this world is passing–consider these words.  This is a quotation from Sibbes’ commentary on 2 Corinthians chapter 1.

"We cannot live long in this world.
We owe God a death.
We owe nature a death.
The sentence of death is passed upon us.
We cannot enjoy the comfort of this world long.
And for favour and applause of the world,
we must leave it,
and it
will leave us,
we know not how soon.
And this meditation should enforce us to be willing,
however it go with us,
for anything here, for life, or goods, or friends, or credit and reputation, or whatsoever,
to be willing to seal the cause of Christ

with that which is dearest to us."

(Works of Richard Sibbes, volume 3, pp. 84-85)