Home > J. C. Ryle, quotes > J.C. Ryle: Taking Up Your Cross

J.C. Ryle: Taking Up Your Cross


From J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Matthew, text:  Matthew 16:24-28:

Let us learn, in the last place, that the second coming of Christ is the time when His people shall receive their rewards. “The Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds.”

There is deep wisdom in this saying of our Lord’s, when viewed in connection with the preceding verses. He knows the heart of a man. He knows how soon we are ready to be cast down, and like Israel of old to be “discouraged by the difficulties of the way.” He therefore holds out to us a gracious promise. He reminds us that He has yet to come a second time, as surely as He came the first time. He tells us that this is the time when His disciples shall receive their good things. There will be glory, honor, and reward in abundance one day for all who have served and loved Jesus. But it is to be in the dispensation of the second advent, and not of the first. The bitter must come before the sweet, the cross before the crown. The first advent is the dispensation of the crucifixion. The second advent is the dispensation of the kingdom. We must submit to take part with our Lord in His humiliation, if we mean ever to share in his glory.

We have heard of the necessity of taking up the cross, and denying ourselves. Have we taken it up, and are we carrying it daily? We have heard of the value of the soul. Do we live as if we believed it? We have heard of Christ’s second advent. Do we look forward to it with hope and joy? Happy is that man who can give a satisfactory answer to these questions.

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