J.C. Ryle on the World's Praise

by Frank Jones

"Who does not know that spiritual religion never brings a man the world's praise? It never has done, and it never does. It entails the world's disapprobation, the world's persecution, the world's ridicule, the world's sneers. The world will let a man go to hell quietly, and never try to stop him. The world will never let a man go to heaven quietly --they will do all they can to turn him back. Who has not heard of nicknames in plenty bestowed on all who faithfully follow Christ? --Pietist, Methodist, saint, fanatic, enthusiast, righteous overmuch, and many more. ... Let a young person go to every ball and theatre and race course, and utterly neglect his soul, and no one interferes ... But let him begin to read his Bible and be diligent in prayers, let him decline worldly amusements and be particular in his employment of time, let him seek an evangelical ministry and live as if he had an immortal soul, --let him do this, and the probability is all his relations and friends will be up in arms. 'You are going too far', 'You need not be so very good', 'You are taking up extreme lines,'-- this is the least that he will hear. ... If a man will become a decided evangelical Christian he must make up his mind to lose the world's favors; he must be content to be thought by many a perfect fool." (Iain Murray , J.C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, 67)