“Surely that man must be in an unhealthy state of soul, who can think of all that Jesus suffered–and yet love those sins for which that suffering was undergone! It was sin which wove the crown of thorns! It was sin which pierced our Lord’s hands and feet and side! It was sin which brought Him to Gethsemane and Calvary, to the cross and to the grave! Cold must our hearts be, if we do not hate sin and labor to get rid of it–though we may have to cut off the right hand and pluck out the right eye in doing it!”
“So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him!” Luke 20:15
“This parable shows us the deep corruption of human nature. The conduct of the ‘wicked farmers’ is a vivid representation of man’s dealings with God.
Let us often pray that we may thoroughly understand the exceeding sinfulness of man’s heart. Few of us, it may be feared, have the least conception of the strength and virulence of the spiritual disease with which we are born. Few entirely realize that ‘the carnal mind is enmity against God,‘ and that unconverted human nature, if it had the power, would cast its Maker down from His throne!
The behavior of the wicked farmers before us, whatever we may please to think, is only a picture of what every natural man would do to God, if he only could.
To see these things is of great importance, for Christ is never fully valued–until sin is clearly seen! We must know the depth and malignity of our disease–in order to appreciate the great Physician!”
“In order that by means of the Commandment the unspeakable sinfulness of sin might be plainly shown.” Romans 7:13
“The Christianity which is from the Holy Spirit, will always have a very deep view of the sinfulness of sin. It will not merely regard sin as a blemish and misfortune, which makes men and women objects of pity and compassion. It will see sin as the curse which cursed God’s beautiful creation, the cursed thing which makes the whole earth groan and struggle in pain, the abominable thing which God hates, the thing which makes people guilty and lost in his Maker’s sight, the thing which deserves God’s eternal wrath and condemnation. It will look on sin as the cause of all sorrow and unhappiness, strife and wars, quarrels and contentions, sickness and death!
Above all, it will see in sin the thing which will ruin us eternally–unless we can find a ransom, lead us captive–unless we can get its chains broken, and destroy our happiness, both here and hereafter–unless we fight against it, even unto death.
“Whatever men please to think or say, the Romish doctrine of the real presence, if pursued to its legitimate consequences, obscures every leading doctrine of the Gospel, and damages and interferes with the whole system of Christ’s truth. Grant for a moment that the Lord’s Supper is a sacrifice, and not a sacrament–grant that every time the words of consecration are used the natural body and blood of Christ are present on the Communion Table under the forms of bread and wine–grant that every one who eats that consecrated bread and drinks that consecrated wine does really eat and drink the natural body and blood of Christ–grant for a moment these things, and then see what momentous consequences result from these premises. You spoil the blessed doctrine of Christ’s finished work when he died on the cross. A sacrifice that needs to be repeated is not a perfect and complete thing. You spoil the priestly office of Christ. If there are priests that can offer an acceptable of God besides Him, the great High Priest is robbed of His glory. You spoil the Scriptural doctrine of the Christian ministry. You exalt sinful man into the position of mediators between God and man. You give to the sacramental elements of bread and wine an honour and veneration they were never meant to receive, and produce an idolatry to be abhorred by faithful Christians. Last, but not least, you overthrow the true doctrine of Christ’s human nature. If the body born of the Virgin Mary can be in more places than one at the same time, it is not a body like our own, and Jesus was not ‘the second Adam’ in the truth of our nature. I cannot doubt for a moment that our martyred Reformers saw and felt these things even more clearly than we do, and, seeing and feeling them, chose to die rather than admit the doctrine of the real presence. Feeling them, they would not give way by subjection for a moment, and cheerfully laid down their lives. Let this fact be deeply graven in our minds. Wherever the English language is spoken on the face of the globe this fact ought to be clearly understood by every Englishman who reads history.”
– J.C. Ryle, Five English Reformers, p.26-27
“Latimer’s words were like the blast of a trumpet, which rings even to this day, ‘Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day, by God’s grace, light such a candle in England as I trust shall never be put out.’ ”
– J.C. Ryle, Five English Reformers, p.18
“…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother!” (Proverbs 18:24)
Does any reader of this tract need a friend?
In such a world as this, how many hearts there are which ought to respond to that appeal! How many there are who feel “I stand alone.” How many have found one idol broken after another, one staff failing after another, one fountain dried after another–as they have traveled through the wilderness of this world.
We need much comfort and consolation in a world like this. It is no easy matter for a man to carry the cross and reach Heaven. There are many enemies to be encountered and overcome. We have often to stand alone. We have at the best times, few with us, and many against us. We need cordials and strong consolation to sustain and cheer us, and to preserve us from fainting on the way as we travel from Egypt into Canaan.
If there is one who needs a friend, let that one behold an unfailing friend at the right hand of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let that one repose his aching head and weary heart upon the bosom of that unfailing friend, Jesus Christ the Lord.
There is one living at God’s right hand of matchless tenderness. There is one who never dies, never fails, never disappoints, never forsakes, never changes His mind, never breaks off friendship. That One, the Lord Jesus, I commend to all who need a friend.
No one in a world like this, a fallen world, a world which we find more and more barren, it may be, every year we live; no one ever need be friendless, while the Lord Jesus Christ lives.
Christian, you have a Friend who never slumbers and never sleeps–a Friend who cares for you morning, noon, and night.”
– J.C. Ryle
“Oh, you who want unfailing comfort, I commend you to Christ! In Him alone, there is no failure. Rich men are disappointed in their treasures. Learned men are disappointed in their books. Husbands are disappointed in their wives. Wives are disappointed in their husbands. Parents are disappointed in their children. Statesmen are disappointed when, after many a struggle, they attain place and power. They find out, to their cost, that it is more pain than pleasure and that it is disappointment, annoyance, incessant trouble, worry, vanity, and frustration of spirit. But no one was ever disappointed in Christ.”
– J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p.381