Friday, March 12, 2010

A smoking flax

"Grace.. is mingled with corruption; therefore a Christian is said to be a smoking flax. So we see that grace does not do away with corruption all at once, but some is left for the believers to fight with. The purest actions of the purest men need Christ to perfume them; and this is His office....... Christ will not quench the smoking flax... He preserves light in the midst of darkness, a spark in the midst of the swelling waters of corruption. We see how our Saviour bore with Thomas the doubting (John 20:27), and with the two disciples that went to Emmaus, who wavered as to whether He came to redeem Israel or not (Luke 24:21). He quenched not that little light in Peter, which was smothered: Peter denied Him, but He denied not Peter (Luke 22.61). 'If thou wilt, thou canst,' said one poor man in the Gospel (Matt 8.2). 'If thou canst do anything,' said another (mark 9.22). Both were smoking flax. Neither of them was quenched. If Christ had stood upon His own greatness, He would have rejected him that came with his 'if'. But Christ answers his 'if' with a gracious and absolute grant, 'I will, be thou clean.' The women that was diseased with an issue did but touch, with a trembling hand, and but the hem of His garment, and yet she went away both healed and comforted." - Richard Sibbes

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