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Especially upon this ground, that when we look upon Christ, and God in Christ, we see ourselves there in the love of Christ, and in the love of God; and thereupon we are moved to be changed to Christ, not by seeing Christ alone, or by seeing God in Christ alone, but by seeing God’s love in Christ to us, and Christ’s love to us. For the Spirit of faith, which is given together with the gospel, it sees Christ giving himself for me, and sees God the Father’s love in† me in Christ, and giving me to Christ. When the Spirit of faith with this appropriation seeth God, mine in Christ, and seeth Christ mine, and sees myself in the love of God, and in the love of Christ, hereupon the soul is stirred up from a holy desire to be like Christ Jesus, that loved me so much, and to be conformable to God all I can. For if the person be great and glorious, and our friend too, there is a natural desire to be like such, to imitate them, and express them all we can. Now when we see ourselves in the love of God and Christ, out of the nature of the thing itself, it will stir us up to be like so sweet, and gracious, and loving a Saviour.

There are three sights that hath a wondrous efficacy, and they go together.

God sees us in Christ, and therefore loves us as we are in Christ.

Christ sees us in the love of his Father, and therefore loves us as he sees us in his Father’s love.

We see ourselves in Christ, and see the love of God to us in Christ.

These three sights are the foundation of all comfort. God gives us to Christ, and sees us as given to him in his election. Christ sees us as given of the Father, as you have it John 17:12; and loves us as we are loved of the Father, and then sees us as his own members. And we by a Spirit of faith see Christ, and see ourselves in Christ, and given to Christ by the Father. Hereupon comes a desire of imitation and expression of Jesus Christ. When we see ourselves in Christ God looks upon us in Christ, and we look upon ourselves in Christ; and when we look upon the mercy of God in Christ, it kindleth love, and love kindleth love, as fire kindleth fire. Fire hath that quality, that it turns all to itself. Now the meditation of the glorious love of God in Christ it works love, and love is an affection of changing; love transforms as fire doth. The love of God warms us, and we are fit for all impressions, as things that are warm. Iron is a dull and heavy thing, yet when it is warm it is bright and pliable, and hath as much as may be of the nature of fire imprinted upon it. So our dead, and dull, and inflexible, and unyielding souls become malleable and flexible by the love of Christ shining upon them. His love transforms them and kindles them. So here is the way how the glory of God’s love in Christ transforms us, because the discovery of the bowels of mercy in God towards us kindles love to him; and that being kindled it works likeness, for love to greatness transforms us. It works a desire to be like those that are great. Where there is dependence there is a desire to be like, even among men. Much more considering that God so loves our nature in Christ, and that our nature is so full of grace in Christ as it is, the love of God in Christ, that hath done so much for us, it breeds a desire to be like Christ in our disposition, all we can.

By looking to the glory of God in Christ we see Christ as our husband, and that breeds a disposition in us to have the affections of a spouse. We see Christ as our head, and that breeds a disposition in us to be members like him.


 Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 4 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson, 1863), 270–271.