by Richard Sibbes
In this collection of sermons, Puritan Richard Sibbes gives an exposition of 1st Corinthians 2:9, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." He explains that we ought to meditate on Heaven's joys as a means to remain faithful on earth.
Christ brings peace and joy, justification and sanctification, and the like; even in this life. The perfection of these is in heaven, where the soul and the body shall be both glorified, in a glorious place, together with glorious company; the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, innumerable angels and just men. These are those things that ‘eye hath not seen,’ &c.; the beginnings here, and the perfection and consummation of them hereafter. Having thus far unfolded the words, I come to the points considerable.
The love of many waxes cold.' One reason may be, because to see-to,* we reap so little fruit of our love. Were it so, that we had nothing in hand, no present pay, that we served God altogether upon trust, without so much as an earnest, yet there is something 'prepared.' Let us believe that, and our hearts cannot but be warmed. We shall then be 'fervent in spirit, serving the Lord,' Rom. 12:11. Be we persuaded of that, 'God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which you have shewed towards his name,' Heb. 6:10, and then we may triumphantly insult† with Paul, 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?' Rom. 8:35. There is this difference between natural sight and spiritual. The one requires some nearness of the object, the other perceives things at greatest distance. As faith makes future things present, so it makes remote things near, and things 'prepared' to affect as if they were enjoyed. But what hath God prepared? If I could answer this, it might not only satisfy, but inebriate. 'Such as eye hath not seen,' &c. It seems to be a proverbial form of speech, whereby the rich plenty of the divine blessings and benefits which God Intendeth to us in and by Christ, according to the gospel, is shadowed forth. The words are to see-to* as a riddle, but here is 'one of a thousand, an interpreter,' Job 33:23, at hand, to unfold them.
Table of Contents
To the Christian Reader
Hidden Secrets Revealed by the Gospel
Eye Hath not Seen, Nor Ear Heard
Eye hath not Seen, Nor Ear Heard (2)
The Things that God Hath Prepared for Them that Love Him