The title of the book comes from a passage in Isaiah, among the “Servant Songs” which foretell the coming of the promised Messiah and speak of His role as the suffering servant.
“A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgment into truth”. It speaks of Jesus’ ministry being one of gentleness and mercy to sinners. “…by misery he is brought to see sin as the cause it, so that together these, a bruised reed and a smoking flax, make up together the state of a poor, distressed man. This is such an one as our Saviour Christ terms ‘poor in spirit’ (Matthew 5:3), who sees his wants, and also sees himself indebted to divine justice, [with] no means of supply from himself” (pg. 3-4). But this bruising is itself a gift of grace, as it is “required before conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by levelling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what we indeed are by nature”
This work has been widely valued since its first publication. It is now issued for the first time in a pocket-size format in the Puritan Paperbacks series. Some of the language and punctuation have been modernized to make the work more accessible. Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), one of the most influential figures of affectional theology in the Puritan movement during the earlier years of the seventeenth century, was renowned for the rich quality of his ministry. The Bruised Reed shows why he was known among his contemporaries as “the sweet dropper.”
Martyn Lloyd-Jones says of this book:
“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, who was known in London in the early seventeenth century as “The Heavenly Doctor Sibbes” was an unfailing remedy. The Bruised Reed quietened, soothed, comforted, encouraged, and healed me”.
About the Author
Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), one of the most influential figures in the Puritan movement during the earlier years of the seventeenth century, was renowned for the rich quality of his ministry. The Bruised Reed shows why he was known among his contemporaries as ‘the sweet dropper’.