J.C. Ryle Bio and Best Quotes on Sin

I mentioned in class last week that I’ve been reading J.C. Ryle’s famous work ‘Holiness’, and I thought you might enjoy a few of his best quotes here and there as I make progress through the book.

To learn more about J.C. Ryle, you can find more quotes from him here at a website devoted to sharing these gems with us.

Ryle on Sin

“Wrong views about holiness are generally traceable to wrong views about human corruption.”

“…a right knowledge of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity.”

“Dim or indistinct views of sin are the origin of most of the errors, heresies and false doctrines of the present day.”

“…the sinfulness of man does not begin from without, but from within.”

“It is a family disease, which we all inherit from our first parents, Adam and Eve.”

“The fairest babe, that has entered life this year and become the sunbeam of a family, is not, as its mother perhaps fondly calls it, a little ‘angel’, or a little ‘innocent’, but a little ‘sinner’. Alas! As it lies smiling and crowing in its cradle, that little creature carries in its heart the seeds of every kind of wickedness!”

“…even after we are born again, renewed, washed, sanctified, justified, and made living members of Christ, these roots remain alive in the bottom of our hearts and, like the leprosy in the walls of the house, we never get rid of them until the earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved.”

“I do not think, in the nature of things, that mortal man can at all realize the exceeding sinfulness of the sin in the sight of that holy and perfect One with whom we have to do.”

“And man, fallen man, I believe, can have no just idea what a vile thing sin is in the sight of that God whose handiwork is absolutely perfect – perfect whether we look through telescope or microscope; perfect in the formation of a mighty planet like Jupiter, with his satellites, keeping time to a second as he rolls round the sun; perfect in the formation of the smallest insect that crawls over a foot of ground.”

“Terribly black must that guilt be for which nothing but the blood of the Son of God could make satisfaction.”

“…men try to cheat themselves into the belief that sin is not quite so sinful as God says it is, and that they are not so bad as they really are. You may see it in the tendency even of believers to indulge their children in questionable practices, and to blind their own eyes to the inevitable result of the love of money, of tampering with temptation and sanctioning a low standard of family religion. I fear we do not sufficiently realize the extreme subtlety of the soul’s disease. We are too apt to forget that temptation to sin will rarely present itself to us in its true colors, say, ‘I am your deadly enemy and I want to ruin you for ever in hell.’”

“Sin rarely seems sin at its first beginnings.”

“…the holiest saint is in himself a miserable sinner and a debtor to mercy and grace to the last moment of his existence!”

“…when we pray, how are our affections many times distracted! How little reverence do we show unto the grand majesty of God unto whom we speak!”

“For my part I am persuaded the more light we have, the more we see our own sinfulness; the nearer we get to heaven, the more we are clothed with humility.”

“Though sin has abounded, grace has much more abounded.”

“People will never set their faces decidedly toward heaven and live like pilgrims, until they really feel that they are in danger of hell.”

“Those whom the Spirit draws to Jesus are those whom the Spirit has convinced of sin. Without 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.”

“We have too often been content with zeal for orthodoxy and have neglected the sober realities of daily practical godliness.”

“The cure for evangelical churchmen, I am convinced, is to be found in the clearer apprehension of the nature and sinfulness of sin.  We need not go back to Egypt, and borrow semi-Romish practices in order to revive our spiritual life. We need not restore the confessional, or return to the monasticism or asceticism. Nothing of the kind!  We must simply repent and do our first works.”

“I am convinced that the first step towards attaining a higher standard of holiness is to realize more fully the amazing sinfulness of sin.”

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