Tuesday, April 17, 2007


'Happy is he who has learned to expect little from Parliaments or Convocations, from Statesmen or from Bishops, and to look steadily for Christ's appearing! He is the man who will not be disappointed.'

The quote is taken from the 1867 preface to Coming Events and Present Duties. Being Miscellaneous Sermons on Prophetical Subjects. J.C. Ryle

I don't think Ryle's statement should be understood as anti-government, as if Ryle was necessarily a 'small government is good' conservative when it came to political questions. Too many recent conservative governments have squandered the trust that was placed in them by conservative Christians. I doubt there is a conservative political party today that Christians can vote for with a clear conscience, knowing that the party is worthy of trust.

I've got no idea where Ryle placed himself on the political spectrum of his day. I think the good thing about Ryle's statement is that it puts everything in proper perspective. Regardless of how we vote, Christians look forward to an event that will change everything. We should not look for heaven on earth apart from the heavenly reign that Christ will bring about when he chooses. But at the same time we should work for the good of all people, including our politicians and governments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ryle rocks. That's one of my favourite books. CG