Monday, June 20, 2022

J.C. Ryle on the Government's Role by J.C. Ryle

Comments on John 18:36 by J. C. Ryle

“My Kingdom is Not of This World”

 But our Lord did not intend to teach that the kings of this world have nothing to do with religion, and ought to ignore God altogether in the government of their subjects. No such idea, we may be sure, was in His mind.

He knew perfectly well that it was written, "By Me kings reign" (Proverbs 8:15), and that kings are as much required to use their influence for God, as the meanest of their subjects. He knew that the prosperity of kingdoms is wholly dependent on the blessing of God, and that kings are as much bound to encourage righteousness and godliness, as to punish unrighteousness and immorality. To suppose that He meant to teach Pilate that, in His judgment an infidel might be as good a king as a Christian, and a man like Gallio as good a ruler as David or Solomon, is simply absurd.

 Let us carefully hold fast the true meaning of our Lord's words in these latter days. Let us never be ashamed to maintain that no Government can expect to prosper which refuses to recognise religion, which deals with its subjects as if they had no souls, and cares not whether they serve God, or Baal, or no God at all. Such a Government will find, sooner or later, that its line of policy is suicidal, and damaging to its best interests.

 No doubt the kings of this world cannot make men Christians by laws and statutes. But they can encourage and support Christianity, and they will do so if they are wise. The kingdom where there is the most industry, temperance, truthfulness, and honesty, will always be the most prosperous of kingdoms. The king who wants to see these things abound among his subjects, should do all that lies in his power to help Christianity and to discourage irreligion.


The following leading principles are worth remembering...

1. Every Government is responsible to God, and no Government can expect to prosper without God's blessing. Every Government therefore is bound to do all that lies in its power to obtain God's favour and blessing. The Government that does not strive to promote true religion, has no right to expect God's blessing.

 2. Every good Government should endeavour to promote truth, charity, temperance, honesty, diligence, industry, chastity among its subjects. True religion is the only root from which these things can grow. The Government that does not labour to promote true religion cannot be called either wise or good.

3. To tell us that a Government must leave religion alone, because it cannot promote it without favouring one Church more than another, is simply absurd. It is equivalent to saying that, as we cannot do good to everybody, we are to sit still and do no good at all.

 4. To tell us that no Government can find out what true religion is, and that consequently a Government should regard all religions with equal indifference, is an argument only fit for an infidel. In England at any rate a belief that the Bible is true is a part of the Constitution; an insult to the Bible is a punishable offence, and the testimony of an avowed atheist goes for nothing in a court of law.

5. It is undoubtedly true that Christ's kingdom is a kingdom independent of the rulers of this world, and one which they can neither begin, increase, nor overthrow. But it is utterly false that the rulers of this world have nothing to do with Christ's kingdom, may safely leave religion entirely alone, and may govern their subjects as if they were beasts and had no souls at all.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

No Compass Like the Bible by J.C. Ryle

Take heed that you are well equipped for the stormy waters you have to cross, and see that you have a compass to steer by, that you can depend on, and a pilot who will not fail!

Beware of making shipwreck by conformity to the world. Alas, how many put to sea in dashing trim, with colors flying, and brilliant prospects, and are lost at last with all on board! They seem at first to begin with Moses, and Daniel, and the saints in Nero’s household; but they end at last with Balaam, and Demas, and Lot’s wife! Oh, remember the pilot and the compass! No compass like the Bible. No pilot like Christ!
~ J.C. Ryle
Tract: Victory!

Friday, June 17, 2022

The Great Delusion by J.C. Ryle

There is no greater delusion than the common idea that it is possible to live wickedly, and yet rise again gloriously—to be without Christ in this world, and yet to be a saint in the next.

I fear the false doctrine of the Roman Catholic purgatory has many secret friends even within the confines of the true Church today! However carelessly men may go on while they live, they secretly cling to the hope that they will be found among the saints when they die. They seem to embrace the idea that there is some cleansing, purifying effect produced by death, and that, whatever they may be in this life, they will be found “suitable for the inheritance of the saints” in the life to come. But it is all a delusion.
~ J.C. Ryle
Practical Religion, “Eternity”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1998], 482, 483.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Value the State of the Soul BY J.C. RYLE

You would do well to measure all people by God’s standard — to measure them not by the amount of their income — but by the condition of their souls.

When the Lord God looks down from Heaven upon people, He takes no account of many things which are highly esteemed by the world. He looks not at a person’s money, or lands, or titles. He looks only at the state of their souls — and reckons them accordingly. Oh, that you would strive to do likewise! Oh, that you would value grace above titles, or intellect, or gold! Often, far too often, the only question asked about a person is, “How much are they worth?” It would be well for us all to remember that every person is pitiably poor — until they are rich in faith, and rich toward God.
~ J.C. Ryle

Thursday, June 9, 2022

The Secret of Inward Peace by J.C. Ryle

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.
~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Beware of ‘Fireworks’ Preaching by J.C. Ryle

“Whatever we preach, or whatever pulpit we occupy, whether we preach simply or not, whether we preach written or extempore, we ought to aim not merely at letting off fireworks, but at preaching that which will do lasting good to souls! Let us beware of fireworks in our preaching.

‘Beautiful’ sermons, ‘brilliant’ sermons, ‘clever’ sermons, ‘popular’ sermons, are often sermons which have no effect on the congregation, and do not draw men to Jesus Christ. Let us aim so to preach, that what we say may really come home to men’s minds and consciences and hearts, and make them think and consider.”
~ J.C. Ryle
The Upper Room, “Simplicity of Preaching”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1970], 53, 54.

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