Bible Reading, Otherwise Known as Practical Religion

Next to praying there is nothing so important in practical religion as Bible reading. By reading that book we may learn what to believe, what to be, and what to do; how to live with comfort, and how to die in peace. Happy is that man who possesses a Bible! Happier still is he who reads it! Happiest of all is he who not only reads it, but obeys it, and makes it the rule of his faith and practice!

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

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Don’t Walk around Looking Like You Were Weaned on Sour Pickles

True religion was never meant to make [people] melancholy. On the contrary, it was intended to increase real joy and happiness among [people]. . . . The Christian who withdraws entirely from the society of his fellow men, and walks the earth with a face as melancholy as if he was always attending a funeral, does injury to the cause of the gospel. A cheerful, kindly spirit is a great recommendation to a believer. . . . A merry heart, and a readiness to take part in all innocent mirth, are gifts of inestimable value. They go far to soften prejudices, to take up stumbling-blocks out of the way, and to make way for Christ and the gospel.

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2012), 64.

Conflictless Christianity

The saddest symptom about many so-called Christians is the utter absence of anything like conflict and fight against spiritual apathy in their Christianity. They eat, they drink, they dress, they work, they amuse themselves, they get money, they spend money, they go through a brief round of formal religious services once or twice every week. But of the great spiritual warfare – its watchings and strugglings, its agonies and anxieties, its battles and contests – of all things they appear to know nothing at all. Let us take care that this case is not our own.

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)