“Last of all, if it be right to ‘hold fast that which is good,’ (1 Thess. 5:21) let us make sure that we have each laid hold personally upon Christ’s truth for ourselves.
It will not save us to know all controversies and to be able to detect everything which is false. Head knowledge will never bring us to heaven. It will not save us to be able to argue and reason with Roman Catholics or to detect the errors of the Popes’ Bulls.
Let us see that we each lay hold upon Jesus Christ for ourselves, by our own personal faith.
Let us see to it that we each flee for refuge, and lay hold upon the hope set before us in His glorious Gospel.
Let us do this, and all shall be well with us, whatever else may go ill.
Let us do this, and then all things are ours.
The church may fail.
The state may go to ruin.
The foundations of all establishments may be shaken.
The enemies of truth may for a season prevail.
But as for us, all shall be well. We shall have in this world peace, and in the world which is to come, life everlasting; for we shall have Christ, and having Him, we have all.
This is real ‘good,’ lasting good, good in sickness, good in health, good in life, good in death, good in time, and good in eternity.
All other things are but uncertain.
They all wear out.
The longer we have them the more worthless we find them, and the more satisfied we become, that everything here below is ‘vanity and vexation of spirit.’
But as for hope in Christ, that is always good. The longer we use it the better it seems. The more we wear it in our hearts the brighter it will look.
It is good when we first have it.
It is better far when we grow older.
It is better still in the day of trial, and the hour of death.
And it will prove best of all in the day of judgment.”
–J.C. Ryle, Knots Untied: Being Plain Statements on Disputed Points in Religion (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1874/2016), 60-61.