Richard Sibbes: The Glory of God is Greatest in the Gospel
"The grace and free mercy of God is his glory."
The grace and free mercy of God is his glory. Now in our fallen estate the glory of God is especially his mercy shining in Jesus Christ. . .
‘The glory of the Lord;’ that is, his attributes, especially that of grace, mercy, and love in Christ. That especially is his excellency. And there is an evidence and manifestation of it. It appears to us in Christ, ‘The grace of God had appeared,’ Titus 2:11. Christ is called grace. He is the grace of God invested and clothed with man’s nature. When Christ appeared, the grace and mercy and love of God appeared.
"When Christ appeared, the grace and mercy and love of God appeared."
By the glory of the Lord then is meant especially the glory of his mercy and love in Jesus Christ. The several attributes of God shine upon several occasions: They have as it were several theatres whereon to discover their glory. In creation there was power most of all. In governing the world, wise providence. In hell, justice in punishing sinners. But now to man in a lapsed estate, what attribute shines most, and is most glorious? Oh it is mercy and free grace.
"Oh it is mercy and free grace."
If grace and mercy were hid, our state being as it is since the fall, what were all other attributes but matter of terror? To think of the wisdom, and power, and justice of God would add aggravations. He is the more wise and powerful to take revenge on us, &c. Grace is the glorious attribute whereby God doth as it were set himself to triumph over the greatest ill that can be, over sin.
"all this is gloriously discovered in the gospel."
That that is worse than the devil himself cannot prevail over his grace. There is a greater height and depth and breadth; there are greater dimensions in love and mercy in Christ than there is in our sins and miseries; and all this is gloriously discovered in the gospel.
Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, 4:240, 241