Sibbes - HP S2575 .S5 1825

AND SMOKING I'LAX. 5 1. The condition of the men, with whom he was to deal : They were bruised Reeds, and smoking Flax; not trees, but Reeds; and not whole, but bruised Reeds. The church is compared to weak things, to a dove amongst the fowls, to a vine amongst th-e plants, to sheep amongst the beasts, to a 'voman-the weaker vess-el; and here · God's children are compared to bruised Reeds and smoking Flax. And first we will speak of them as bruised Reeds, and then as smoking F'lax. They are bruised reeds before conversion ; and oftentimes after. Before conversion, all are so, (except those to whom, as being bred up in the church, God bath delighted to shew himself gracious from their childhood) yet in different degrees, as God seeth fit : And as there is difference in regard of temper, parts, manner of life, &c. so is God's intended employment for the time to come, for usually he empties such of themselves, and makes them nothing, before l;le will use them in any great service. This bruised Reed is a 111an, who for the mo~t part is · in some misery, and con1es to Christ for help; by n1isery ,.. brought to see sin· the cause of it; (for ·