The Soul's Conflict With Itself (eBook)

by Richard Sibbes

in ePub, .mobi & .pdf formats

In his book Preachers and Preaching, Martyn Lloyd-Jones noted, "I shall never cease to be grateful to Richard Sibbes, who was balm to my soul at a period in my life when I was overworked and badly overtired, and therefore subject in an unusual manner to the onslaughts of the devil.... I found at that time that Richard Sibbes... was an unfailing remedy. His books The Bruised Reed and The Soul's Conflict quietened, soothed, comforted, encouraged, and healed me."

In this book, Sibbes reflects on Psalm 42:11 — "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

There be two sorts of people always in the visible Church; one that Satan keeps under with false peace, whose life is nothing but a diversion to present contentments, and a running away from God and their own hearts, which they know can speak no good unto them, these speak peace to themselves, but God speaks none. Such have nothing to do with this scripture; the way for these men to enjoy comfort, is to be soundly troubled. True peace arises from knowing the worst first, and then our freedom from it. It is a miserable peace that ariseth from ignorance of evil. The angel troubled the waters, John v., and then cured those that stepped in. It is Christ's manner to trouble our souls first, and then to come with healing in his wings.

But there is another sort of people, who being drawn out of Satan's kingdom and within the covenant of grace, whom Satan labours to unsettle and disquiet: being the god of the world, he is vexed to see men in the world, walk above the world. Since he cannot hinder their estate, he will trouble their peace, and damp their spirits, and cut asunder the sinews of all their endeavours.

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Table of Contents

To the Christian Reader

Introduction

CHAPTER I.—General Observations upon the Text

CHAPTER II.—Of Discouragements from without

CHAPTER III.—Of Discouragements from within

CHAPTER IV.—Of casting down ourselves, and specially by sorrow—evils thereof

CHAPTER V.—Remedies of casting down to cite the soul, and press it to give an account

CHAPTER VI.—Other observations of the same nature

CHAPTER VII.—Difference between good men and others in conflicts with sin

CHAPTER VIII.—Of unfitting dejection, and when it is excessive. And what is the right temper of the soul herein

CHAPTER IX.—Of the soul's disquiets, God's dealings, and power to contain ourselves in order

CHAPTER X.—Means not to be overcharged with sorrow

CHAPTER XI.—Signs of victory over ourselves, and of a subdued spirit

CHAPTER XII.—Of original righteousness, natural corruption, Satan's joining with it, and our duty thereupon

CHAPTER XIII.—Of imagination, sin of it, and remedies for it

CHAPTER XIV.—Of help by others. Of true comforters and their graces. Method. Ill success

CHAPTER XV.—Of flying to God in disquiets of souls; eight observations out of the text

CHAPTER XVI.—Of trust in God grounds of it; especially his providence

CHAPTER XVII.—Of graces to be exercised in respect of Divine Providence

CHAPTER XVIII.—Other grounds of trusting in God, namely, the Promises, and twelve directions about the same

CHAPTER XIX.—Faith to be prized, and other things undervalued, at least not to be trusted to as the chief

CHAPTER XX.—Of the method of trusting in God; and the trial of that trust

CHAPTER XXI.—Of quieting the spirit in troubles for sin; and objections answered

CHAPTER XXII.—Of sorrow for sin, and hatred for sin, when right and sufficient. Helps thereto

CHAPTER XXIII.—Other spiritual causes of the soul's trouble discovered and removed; and objections answered

CHAPTER XXIV.—Of outward troubles disquieting the spirit, and comforts in them

CHAPTER XXV.—Of the defects of gifts, disquieting the soul; as also the afflictions of the church

CHAPTER XXVI.—Of divine reasons in a believer. Of his minding to praise God, more than to be delivered

CHAPTER XXVII.—In our worst condition we have cause to praise God; still ample cause in these days

CHAPTER XXVIII.—Divers qualities of the praise due to God, with helps therein; and notes of God's hearing our prayers

CHAPTER XXIX.—Of God's manifold salvation for his people, and why open, or expressed in the countenance

CHAPTER XXX.—Of God, our God, and of particular application

CHAPTER XXXI.—Means of proving and evidencing to our souls that God is our God

CHAPTER XXXII.—Of improving our evidences for comfort in several passages of our lives

CHAPTER XXXIII.—Of experience and faith, and how to wait on God comfortably. Helps thereto

CHAPTER XXXIV.—Of confirming this trust in God: seek it of God himself. Sins hinder not: nor Satan. Conclusion and Soliloquy

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