I love J.C. Ryle. And I am deeply grateful to those who preserved his sermons!
The true Christian is the only happy man, because he can “sit down quietly and think about his soul.”
He can look behind him and ahead of him, he can look within him and around him, and feel, “All is well.”
He can think calmly on his past life, and however many and great his sins, take comfort in the thought that they are all forgiven. The righteousness of Christ covers all, as Noah’s flood covered the highest mountain.
He can think calmly about things to come, and yet not be afraid. Sickness is painful; death is solemn; the judgment day is an awful thing: but having Christ for him, he has nothing to fear.
He can think calmly about the Holy God, whose eyes are on all his ways, and feel, “He is my Father, my reconciled Father in Christ Jesus. I am weak; I am unprofitable: yet in Christ He regards me as His dear child, and is well-pleased.”
Oh, what a blessed privilege it is to be able to “think,” and not be afraid!
J.C. Ryle, “Happiness” – a sermon on Psalm 144:15.