by Bishop J. C. Ryle
Reader, what is your hope about your soul? Have you any, or have you none? Can you tell me in what way you expect to be accounted righteousness before God?:
Depend upon it, these are very serious questions. You and I are dying men. After death comes the judgment. What is your hope of acquittal in that awful day? What are we going to plead on our behalf before God?:
Shall we say that we have done our duty to God? Shall we say that we have done our duty to our neighbour? Shall we bring forward our prayers, our regularity, our morality, our church going, our amendments? Shall we ask to be accepted by God for any of these things?
Which of these things will stand God's eye? Which of them will actually justify you and me? Which of them will carry us clear through judgment, and land us safe in glory?
Absolutely none! Take any commandment of the ten, and let us examine ourselves by it. We have broken it repeatedly. We cannot answer God. Take any of us, and look narrowly into our ways and we are nothing but sinners. There is but one verdict. We are all guilty – all deserve hell, all ought to die. How then can we come before God?
We must come in the Name of Jesus, standing on no other ground, pleading no other plea than this – “Christ died on the cross for the ungodly, and I trust in Him.”
Oh, believe me, Christ must be all the hope of everyone who would be justified and saved. You must be content to go to heaven as a beggar ? saved by free Grace, ? simply as a believer in Jesus ? or you will never be saved at all. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, least any man should boast.”