Category Archives: Conscience

“The grand secret of inward peace” by J.C. Ryle

“To be without Christ is to be without peace. Every man has a conscience within him, which must be satisfied before he can be truly happy. So long as this conscience is asleep or half dead, so long, no doubt, he gets along pretty well.

But as soon as a man’s conscience wakes up, and he begins to think of past sins, and present failings, and future judgment, at once he finds out that he needs something to give him inward rest.

But what can do it? Repenting, and praying, and Bible-reading, and church-going, and sacrament-receiving, and self-mortification may be tried, and tried in vain.

They never yet took off the burden from any one’s conscience. And yet peace must be had! There is only one thing that can give peace to the conscience, and that is the blood of Jesus Christ sprinkled on it.

A clear understanding that Christ’s death was an actual payment of our debt to God, and that the merit of that death is made over to man when he believes, is the grand secret of inward peace.

It meets every craving of conscience. It answers every accusation. It calms every fear. It is written, ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace.’

‘He is our peace.’ ‘Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (John 16:33; Ephes. 2:14; Rom. 5:1.)

We have peace through the blood of His cross: peace like a deep mine,—peace like an ever flowing stream.”

–J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots (London: William Hunt and Company, 1889), 364–365.

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“The mercy of an infinite God” by Richard Sibbes

“‘He will not quench the smoking wick or flax.’ It adds strength to faith to consider that all expressions of love issue from nature in Christ, which is constant. God knows that, as we are prone to sin, so, when conscience is thoroughly awakened, we are prone to despair for sin.

And therefore He would have us know that He setteth Himself in the covenant of grace to triumph in Christ over the greatest evils and enemies we fear, and that His thoughts are not as our thoughts are, and that He is God and not man, and that there are heights, and depths, and breadths of mercy in Him above all the depths of our sin and misery, and that we should never be in such a forlorn condition, wherein there should be ground of despair, considering our sins be the sins of men and His mercy the mercy of an infinite God.

But though it be a truth clearer than the sunbeams, that a broken-hearted sinner ought to embrace mercy so strongly enforced, yet there is no truth that the heart shutteth itself more against than this, especially in sense of misery, when the soul is fittest for mercy, until the Holy Spirit sprinkleth the conscience with the blood of Christ, and sheddeth His love into the heart, so that the blood of Christ in the conscience may cry louder than the guilt of sin.

For only God’s Spirit can raise the conscience with comfort above guilt, because He only is greater than the conscience. Men may speak comfort, but it is Christ’s Spirit than can only comfort.”

–Richard Sibbes, “To the General Reader,” The Bruised Reed and the Smoking Flax, in The Works of Richard Sibbes, Ed. Alexander Grosart (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, Repr. 2001), 1:89.

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Lord’s Day Hymn – “I want a principle within of watchful, godly fear”

“I Want a Principle Within”
By Charles Wesley, 1749

I want a principle within of watchful, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin, a pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel of pride or wrong desire,
To catch the wandering of my will, and quench the kindling fire.

From Thee that I no more may stray, no more Thy goodness grieve,
Grant me the filial awe, I pray, the tender conscience give.
Quick as the apple of an eye, O God, my conscience make;
Awake my soul when sin is nigh, and keep it still awake.

Almighty God of truth and love, to me Thy power impart;
The mountain from my soul remove, the hardness from my heart.
O may the least omission pain my reawakened soul,
And drive me to that blood again, which makes the wounded whole.

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