Sibbes - HP S2575 .S5 1825

130 THE BR U!SED REED First therefore, for the great consolation of poor and weak Christians, let them know that a spark from heaven, though kindled under green wood that sobs and smokes, yet will consume all at last; love once kindled is strong as death, much water cannot quench it, and therefore it is called a vehement flame, or flame of God, kindled in the heart by the Holy Ghost. That little which is in us, is fed with ah everlasting spring. As the fire that came down from heaven, in Elijah's time, licked up all the water to shew that it came from God, so will this fire destroy all our corruption. No affliction without, or corruption within, shall quench it. In the morning we often see clouds gather about the sp.n, as if they would hide it; but the sun wasteth them by little and little, till it comes to its full strength. At the f1rst, fears and doubts hinder the breaking out of this fire, until at length it gets above them all, and Christ prevails ; and then he strengthens his own graces in us. Grace conquers us first, and we by it conquer all things else, whether it be corruptions within us, or temptations without us.