By J. C. Ryle (1816 – 1900)
Let us cleave to Christ more closely, love Him more heartily, live to Him more thoroughly, copy Him more
exactly, confess Him more boldly, follow Him more fully. Religion like this will always bring its own reward.
Worldly people may laugh at it. Weak brethren may think it extreme. But it will wear well. At even time it will
bring us light. In sickness it will bring us peace. In the world to come it will give us a crown of glory that
fadeth not away.
The time is short. The fashion of this world passeth away. A few more storms and tossings, and we shall
be safe in harbor. We travel towards a world where there is no more sickness – where parting, and pain, and
crying, and mourning, are done with for evermore. Heaven is becoming very year more full, and earth more
empty. The friends ahead are becoming more numerous than the friends astern. “…Yet a little while and He
that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Heb. 10:37). In His presence shall be fullness of joy. Christ
shall wipe away all tears from His people’s eyes. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is Death. But he
shall be destroyed. Death himself shall one day die (Rev. 10:14).
In the meantime, let us live the life of faith in the Son of God. Let us lean all our weight on Christ, and
rejoice in the thought that He lives for evermore.
Yes: blessed be God! Christ lives, though we may die. Christ lives, though friends and families are
carried to the grave. He lives who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel.
He lives who said, “…O death, I will be thy plagues: O grave, I will be thy destruction…” (Hos. 13:14). He
lives who will one day change our vile body, and make it like unto His glorious body. In sickness and in
health, in life and in death, let us lean confidently on Him. Surely we ought to say daily with one of old,
“Blessed be God for Jesus Christ!