All Time Famous J. C. Ryle Quotes

J. C. Ryle Quotes

John Charles Ryle (1816–1900), the first Bishop of Liverpool, was a prominent figure in 19th-century English evangelicalism. Best known for “Holiness,” a seminal work on Christian living, he emphasized the importance of personal holiness and a vibrant relationship with Christ. Ryle’s “Practical Religion” offers practical advice on various aspects of Christian life, while his “Expository Thoughts on the Gospels” provides insightful commentaries. Additionally, “Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century” profiles influential figures from that era. Ryle’s writings, marked by biblical clarity and doctrinal soundness, continue to impact evangelical Christianity, emphasizing the timeless relevance of holiness and the significance of a personal connection with Jesus. His legacy endures through these enduring works that inspire and guide believers in their spiritual journeys.

J. C. Ryle Quotes

1. “Prayer is the mightiest weapon that God has placed in our hands.”
— J. C. Ryle

2. “Trials are intended to make us think, to wean us from the world, to send us to the Bible, to drive us to our knees.”
— J. C. Ryle

3. “The heart that has really tasted the grace of Christ, will instinctively hate sin.”
— J. C. Ryle

4. “The highest form of selfishness is that of the man who is content to go to heaven alone.”
— J. C. Ryle

5. “To say that we are sorry for our sins is mere hypocrisy, unless we show that we are really sorry for them, by giving them up. Doing is the very life of repentance.”
— J. C. Ryle

6. “There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough-a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice-which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.”
— J. C. Ryle

7. “Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the altar of peace.”
— J. C. Ryle

8. “Tomorrow is the devil’s day, but today is God’s. Satan does not care how spiritual your intentions are, or how holy your resolutions, if only they are determined to be done tomorrow.”
— J. C. Ryle

9. “The best of men are men at best.”
— J. C. Ryle

10. “Let us seek friends that will stir up our prayers, our Bible reading, our use of time, and our salvation.”
— J. C. Ryle

11. “HATE SIN! Instead of loving it, cleaving to it, excusing it, playing with it, we ought to hate it with a deadly hatred.”
— J. C. Ryle

12. “Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word.”
— J. C. Ryle

13. “Obedience is the only reality. It is faith visible, faith acting, and faith manifest. It is the test of real discipleship among the Lord’s people.”
— J. C. Ryle

14. “Election is always to sanctification. Where there is no visible fruit of sanctification, we may be sure there is no election.”
— J. C. Ryle

15. “A religion that costs nothing is worth nothing. A cheap Christianity, without a cross, will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown.”
— J. C. Ryle

16. “Health is a good thing; but sickness is far better, if it leads us to God.”
— J. C. Ryle

17. “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.”
— J. C. Ryle

18. “Do not glory in your own faith, your own feelings, your own knowledge, or your own diligence. Glory in nothing but Christ.”
— J. C. Ryle

19. “Look not to yourselves! You are by nature wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Look simply unto Jesus.”
— J. C. Ryle

20. “No salvation without regeneration – no spiritual life without a new birth – no heaven without a new heart.”
— J. C. Ryle

21. “Oh, dear friend, if you love your children, I charge you, do not let the early impression of a habit of prayer slip by. If you train your children to do anything, train them, at least, to have a habit of prayer.”
— J. C. Ryle

22. “No one ever reached heaven without repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
— J. C. Ryle

23. “Except a man be born again, he will wish one day he had never been born at all.”
— J. C. Ryle

24. “Better to confess Christ 1000 times now and be despised by men, than be disowned by Christ before God on the day of Judgment.”
— J. C. Ryle

25. “Pride is the oldest and most common of sins. Humility is the rarest and most beautiful of graces.”
— J. C. Ryle

26. “Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer.”
— J. C. Ryle

27. “Blessed are they who feel like pilgrims and strangers in this life, and whose best things are all to come!”
— J. C. Ryle

28. “We must wrestle earnestly in prayer, like men contending with a deadly enemy for life.”
— J. C. Ryle

29. “A converted man will not wish to go to heaven alone.”
— J. C. Ryle

30. “Sin forsaken is one of the best evidences of sin forgiven.”
— J. C. Ryle

31. “God is far more willing to save sinners than sinners are to be saved.”
— J. C. Ryle

32. “Fear not because your prayer is stammering, your words feeble, and your language poor. Jesus can understand you.”
— J. C. Ryle

33. “Look to the cross, think of the cross, meditate on the cross, and then go and set your affections on the world if you can.”
— J. C. Ryle

34. “Let us beware of repentance without evidence.”
— J. C. Ryle

35. “Of all the doctrines of the Bible none is so offensive to human nature as the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.”
— J. C. Ryle

36. “O Christian, look up and take comfort. Jesus has prepared a place for you, and those who follow Him shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck them out of His hands.”
— J. C. Ryle

37. “I believe it to be clear evidence of the Spirit’s presence when the Word of God is really precious to a person’s soul.”
— J. C. Ryle

38. “Unity without the gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of hell.”
— J. C. Ryle

39. “We must give up the vain idea of trying to please everybody. That is impossible, and the attempt is a mere waste of time. We must be content to walk in Christ’s steps, and let the world say what it likes.”
— J. C. Ryle

40. “To be prayerless is to be without God, without Christ, without grace, without hope, and without heaven.”
— J. C. Ryle

41. “Good hymns are an immense blessing to the Church. They train people for heaven, where praise is one of the principal occupations.”
— J. C. Ryle

42. “Hell itself is truth known too late.”
— J. C. Ryle

43. “God does not look at riches, titles, education, or beauty. There is only one thing that God does look at, and that is the soul.”
— J. C. Ryle

44. “A trial is an instrument by which our Father in heaven makes Christians more holy.”
— J. C. Ryle

45. “No time is so well spent in every day as that which we spend upon our knees.”
— J. C. Ryle

46. “There is only one door, one bridge, one ladder, between earth and heaven – the crucified Son of God.”
— J. C. Ryle

47. “Let your Christianity be so unmistakable, your eye so single, your heart so whole, your walk so straightforward, that all who see you may have no doubt whose you are, and whom you serve.”
— J. C. Ryle

48. “The children of God all have a cross to bear. A suffering Savior generally has suffering disciples.”
— J. C. Ryle

49. “We have the truth and we need not be afraid to say so.”
— J. C. Ryle

50. “Christ’s death is the Christian’s life. Christ’s cross is the Christian’s title to heaven. Christ “lifted up” and put to shame on Calvary is the ladder by which Christians “enter into the holiest,” and are at length landed in glory.”
— J. C. Ryle

51. “The true cure for self-righteousness is self-knowledge.”
— J. C. Ryle

52. “Beware of self-righteousness in every possible shape and form. Some people get as much harm from their “virtues” as others do from their sins.”
— J. C. Ryle

53. “Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.”
— J. C. Ryle

54. “We are all naturally self-righteous. It is the family disease of all the children of Adam.”
— J. C. Ryle

55. “Nothing so hardens the heart of man as a barren familiarity with sacred things.”
— J. C. Ryle

56. “What is the best safeguard against false doctrine? The Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.”
— J. C. Ryle

57. “There will be no universal peace until the Prince of Peace appears.”
— J. C. Ryle

58. “The blood of Christ can cleanse away all sin. But we must ‘plead guilty’ before God can declare us innocent.”
— J. C. Ryle

59. “True Christianity is not merely believing a certain set of dry abstract propositions: it is to live in daily personal communication with an actual living person – Jesus Christ.”
— J. C. Ryle

60. “Your trials, crosses, and conflicts are all temporary.”
— J. C. Ryle

61. “Prayer is the very life-breath of true Christianity.”
— J. C. Ryle

62. “Do something, by God’s help, to make heaven more full and hell more empty.”
— J. C. Ryle

63. “Our Lord has many weak children in his family, many dull pupils in his school, many raw soldiers in his army, many lame sheep in his flock. Yet he bears with them all, and casts none away. Happy is that Christian who has learned to do likewise with his brethren.”
— J. C. Ryle

64. “Naked we came upon earth, and naked we go forth, and of all our possessions, we can carry nothing with us.”
— J. C. Ryle

65. “The best of men are only men at their very best. Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, – martyrs, fathers, reformers, puritans, – all are sinners, who need a Savior: holy, useful, honorable in their place – but sinners after all.”
— J. C. Ryle

66. “Since Satan can’t destroy the gospel, he has too often neutralized its usefulness by addition, subtraction or substitution.”
— J. C. Ryle

67. “It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear.”
— J. C. Ryle

68. “We must read our Bibles like men digging for hidden treasure.”
— J. C. Ryle

69. “The harvest of the Lord’s field is seldom ripened by sunshine only. It must go through its days of wind, rain and storm.”
— J. C. Ryle

70. “The nearer we live to God while we live, the more ready we will be to dwell forever in His presence when we die.”
— J. C. Ryle

71. “Our prayers may be weak, stammering, and poor in our eyes. But if they come from a right heart, God understands them. Such prayers are His delight.”
— J. C. Ryle

72. “Sanctification is the outcome and inseparable consequence of regeneration. He who is born again and made a new creature receives a new nature and a new principle and always lives a new life.”
— J. C. Ryle

73. “Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just. Such a God is an idol of your own.”
— J. C. Ryle

74. “Wealth is no mark of God’s favor. Poverty is no mark of God’s displeasure.”
— J. C. Ryle

75. “The fear of punishment, the desire of reward, the sense of duty, are all useful arguments, in their way, to persuade people to holiness. But they are all weak and powerless, until a person loves Christ.”
— J. C. Ryle

76. “Happiness does not depend on outward circumstances, but on the state of the heart.”
— J. C. Ryle

77. “A Christian is a walking sermon. They preach far more than a minister does, for they preach all week long.”
— J. C. Ryle

78. “The only way to be really happy in such a world as this, is to be ever casting all our cares on God.”
— J. C. Ryle

79. “Meekness is one of the brightest graces which can adorn the Christian character.”
— J. C. Ryle

80. “There is more to be learned at the foot of the Cross than anywhere else in the world.”
— J. C. Ryle

81. “Let us be real, honest, and sincere in our Christianity. We cannot deceive an all-seeing God.”
— J. C. Ryle

82. “The Word of God is ROCK. All else is sand.”
— J. C. Ryle

83. “The key to understanding the Bible is Jesus Christ.”
— J. C. Ryle

84. “We should no more tolerate false doctrine that we would tolerate sin.”
— J. C. Ryle

85. “What would you expect? Sin will not come to you saying, ‘I am sin.’ It would do little harm if it did. Sin always seems ‘good, pleasant and desirable’ at the time of arrival.”
— J. C. Ryle

86. “How can we love sin, when we remember that because of our sins Jesus died?”
— J. C. Ryle

87. “We know nothing of humility by nature, for we are all born proud.”
— J. C. Ryle

88. “People fall in private, long before they fall in public. The tree falls with a great crash, but the secret decay which accounts for it, is often not discovered until it is down on the ground.”
— J. C. Ryle

89. “Faith is to the soul what life is to the body. Prayer is to faith what breath is to the body. How a person can live and not breathe is past my comprehension, and how a person can believe and not pray is past my comprehension too.”
— J. C. Ryle

90. “Take away the cross of Christ, and the Bible is a dark book.”
— J. C. Ryle

91. “A zealous man feels that like a lamp he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach and work and give money, he will cry and sigh and pray.”
— J. C. Ryle

92. “It was the whole Trinity, which at the beginning of creation said, “Let us make man”. It was the whole Trinity again, which at the beginning of the Gospel seemed to say, “Let us save man”.”
— J. C. Ryle

93. “Prosperity is a great mercy, but adversity is a greater one, if it brings us to Christ.”
— J. C. Ryle

94. “Beware of letting small faults pass unnoticed under the idea it is a little one. There are no little things in training children; all are important. Little weeds need plucking up as much as any. Leave them alone and they will soon be great.”
— J. C. Ryle

95. “The love of Christ towards His people is a deep well which has no bottom.”
— J. C. Ryle

96. “If you and sin are friends, you and God are not yet reconciled.”
— J. C. Ryle

97. “The beginning of the way to heaven, is to feel that we are on the way to hell.”
— J. C. Ryle

98. “Praying and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer.”
— J. C. Ryle

99. “Assurance of hope is more than life, it is health, strength, power, vigor, activity, energy, manliness, beauty.”
— J. C. Ryle

100. “The eye of God! Think of that. Everywhere, in every house, in every field, in every room, in every company, alone or in a crowd, the eye of God is always upon you.”
— J. C. Ryle

101. “God has linked holiness and happiness; and what God has joined together we must not think to put asunder.”
— J. C. Ryle

102. “Without a thorough conviction of sin, men may seem to come to Jesus and follow Him for a season, but they will soon fall away and return to the world.”
— J. C. Ryle

103. “Let it never surprise true Christians if they are slandered and misrepresented in this world. They must not expect to fare better than their Lord.”
— J. C. Ryle

104. “True Christians delight to read the Scriptures because they tell them about their beloved Savior.”
— J. C. Ryle

105. “Until we give God our heart, we give Him nothing at all.”
— J. C. Ryle

106. “Do we profess to love Christ? Then let us show it by our lives.”
— J. C. Ryle

107. “Every fresh act of sin lessens fear and remorse, hardens our hearts, blunts the edge of our conscience, and increases our evil inclination.”
— J. C. Ryle

108. “God knew what we were before conversion – wicked, guilty, and defiled; yet He loved us. He knows what we will be after conversion – weak, erring, and frail; yet He loves us.”
— J. C. Ryle

109. “We may love money without having it, just as we may have money without loving it.”
— J. C. Ryle

110. “Nothing perhaps affects man’s character more than the company he keeps.”
— J. C. Ryle

111. “Let us cleave to Christ more closely, love Him more heartily, live to Him more thoroughly, copy Him more exactly, confess Him more boldly, and follow Him more fully.”
— J. C. Ryle

112. “Are you tempted? Look unto Jesus. Are you afflicted? Look unto Jesus. Do all speak evil of you? Look unto Jesus. Do you feel cold, dull, and backsliding? Look unto Jesus.”
— J. C. Ryle

113. “We ought to regard the sacrament of baptism with reverence. An ordinance of which the Lord Jesus Himself partook, is not to be lightly esteemed. An ordinance to which the great Head of the Church submitted, ought to be ever honorable in the eyes of professing Christians.”
— J. C. Ryle

114. “Backsliding, generally first begins with neglect of private prayer.”
— J. C. Ryle

115. “The parent who tries to train without setting a good example is building with one hand, and pulling down with the other.”
— J. C. Ryle

116. “Doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It is worse than useless; it does positive harm. Something of ‘the image of Christ’ must be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings.”
— J. C. Ryle

117. “According to the men of the world, few are going to hell; According to the Bible, few are going to heaven.”
— J. C. Ryle

118. “What is the reason that some believers are so much brighter and holier than others? I believe the difference, in nineteen cases out of twenty, arises from different habits about private prayer. I believe that those who are not eminently holy pray little, and those who are eminently holy pray much.”
— J. C. Ryle

119. “If you want to find out how much someone loves you, find out how much they pray for you.”
— J. C. Ryle

120. “No prayers can be heard which do not come from a forgiving heart.”
— J. C. Ryle

121. “It must not content us to take our bodies to church if we leave our hearts at home.”
— J. C. Ryle

122. “Hearken, my believing reader. What is the cause of your weakness? Is it not because the fountain of life is little used? Is it not because you are resting on old experiences, and not daily gathering new manna – daily drawing new strength from Christ?”
— J. C. Ryle

123. “A true Christian is one who has not only peace of conscience, but war within. He may be known by his warfare as well as by his peace.”
— J. C. Ryle

124. “Knowledge of the Bible never comes by intuition. It can only be obtained by diligent, regular, daily, attentive reading.”
— J. C. Ryle

125. “Faith in the Lord Jesus is the only sure medicine for troubled hearts.”
— J. C. Ryle

126. “Whatever you read, read the Bible first. Beware of bad books: there are plenty in this day. Take heed what you read.”
— J. C. Ryle

127. “Children are very quick observers; very quick in seeing through some kinds of hypocrisy, very quick in finding out what you really think and feel, very quick in adopting all your ways and opinions. You will often discover that, as the father is, so is the son.”
— J. C. Ryle

128. “The rulers of the earth plan, and scheme, and make laws, and change laws, and war, and pull down one, and raise up another. But they little think that they rule only by the will of Jesus and that nothing happens without the permission of the Lamb of God.”
— J. C. Ryle

129. “The love of our Lord Jesus Christ towards sinners is strikingly shown in His steady purpose of heart to die for them.”
— J. C. Ryle

130. “Live as if you thought that Christ might come at any time.”
— J. C. Ryle

131. “I fear we are in danger of forgetting that to HAVE the Bible is one thing, and to READ it quite another.”
— J. C. Ryle

132. “Troublous times, departures from the faith, evil men waxing worse and worse, love waxing cold, are things distinctly predicted.”
— J. C. Ryle

133. “The cause of Christ does not need less working, but it does need among the workers, more praying.”
— J. C. Ryle

134. “True worship leads to a more full knowledge of self, God, heaven, duty, doctrine, practice and experience.”
— J. C. Ryle

135. “It is not always those who have the most eminent gifts who are the most successful laborers for God. It is generally those who keep up closest communion with Christ and are most constant in prayer.”
— J. C. Ryle

136. “Laughter, ridicule, opposition and persecution are often the only reward which Christ’s followers get from the world.”
— J. C. Ryle

137. “He that would be conformed to Christ’s image, and become a Christ-like man, must be constantly studying Christ Himself.”
— J. C. Ryle

138. “We are all so sunk in sin, and so wedded to the world, that we would never turn to God and seek salvation, unless He first called us by His grace. Without a divine call, no one can be saved.”
— J. C. Ryle

139. “Let us strive, every year we live, to become more deeply acquainted with Scripture.”
— J. C. Ryle

140. “The devil has more knowledge than any of us, and yet is no better for it.”
— J. C. Ryle

141. “The work of the preacher resembles that of the sower. Like the sower, the preacher must sow good seed, the Word of God.”
— J. C. Ryle

142. “The temple in which the Lord Jesus delights most, is a broken and contrite heart, renewed by the Holy Spirit.”
— J. C. Ryle

143. “If you profess to be a child of God, leave it to the Lord Jesus to sanctify you in His own way.”
— J. C. Ryle

144. “There is one subject in religion, about which you can never know too much. That subject is Jesus Christ the Lord.”
— J. C. Ryle

145. “Men fall in private long before they fall in public.”
— J. C. Ryle

146. “If you love Christ, never be ashamed to let others see it and know it. Speak for Him. Witness for Him. Live for Him.”
— J. C. Ryle

147. “No one ever said at the end of his days; ‘I have read my bible too much, I have thought of God too much, I have prayed too much, I have been too careful with my soul’”
— J. C. Ryle

148. “Conversion is not putting a man in an armchair and taking him easily to heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory.”
— J. C. Ryle

149. “The world’s idea of greatness is to rule, but Christian greatness consists in serving.”
— J. C. Ryle

150. “If God has given His Son to die for us, let us beware of doubting His kindness and love in any painful providence of our daily life.”
— J. C. Ryle

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