“What absolute need there is to stir up ourselves to holy duties.
In respect of the sluggishness of our hearts to that which is spiritual: blunt tools need whetting, a dull creature needs spurs.
Our hearts are dull and heavy in the things of God, therefore we had need spur them on, and provoke them to that which is good.
The flesh hinders from duty: when we would pray, the flesh resists; when we should suffer, the flesh draws back. How hard is it sometimes to get leave of our hearts to seek God!
Jesus Christ went more willingly to the cross than we do to the throne of grace.
Had not we need then provoke ourselves to duty? If our hearts are so unstrung in religion, we had need prepare and put them in tune.”
–Thomas Watson, The Christian Soldier, or Heaven Taken by Storm, Showing The Holy Violence A Christian Is To Put Forth In The Pursuit After Glory (Matthew 11:12), Ed. Joel Beeke (Grand Rapids, MI: Soli Deo Gloria, 1669/1992), 11.
“Christ hath both will, and skill, and power, and authority to feed us to everlasting life, for the Father sent Him forth, and sealed Him to that purpose.
All the springs of our joy are from Him (Psalm 87:7). Our duty is to accept of Christ’s inviting of us.
What will we do for Him, if we will not feast with Him?”
–Richard Sibbes, “Bowels Opened: or, A Discovery of the Near and Dear Love, Union and Communion Betwixt Christ and the Church, and Consequently Betwixt Him and Every Believing Soul, Delivered in Diverse Sermons on the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Chapters of the Canticles,” The Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 2 (ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1639/2001), 2: 34.
“It were an easy thing to be a Christian, if religion stood only in a few outward works and duties, but to take the soul to task, and to deal roundly with our own hearts, and to let conscience have its full work, and to bring the soul into spiritual subjection unto God, this is not so easy a matter, because the soul out of self-love is loath to enter into itself, lest it should have other thoughts of itself than it would have.”
–Richard Sibbes, The Soul’s Conflict, and Victory Over Itself by Faith, XV:vii:6, in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Vol. 1, (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1862), 200.