“I will ask one favour on behalf of the brethren who have done the principal part of the labour in the meeting now nearly concluded. We ask a special place in your intercessory prayers.
You should consider the position in which we are placed. We are often put forward into positions which others perhaps would fill just as well, if they would but make the trial, and we are deeply sensible of our own deficiencies.
But still, being put forward in the forefront of the battle, we may surely ask for a special place in your prayers.
We are only flesh and blood. We are men of like passions with yourselves. We have our private trials, and our special temptations.
Often, while watering the vineyards of others, our own is comparatively neglected. Surely, it is not too much to ask you to pray for us.
Pray that we may be kept humble and sensible of our own weakness, and ever mindful that in the Lord alone can we be strong.
Pray that we may have wisdom to take the right step, to do the right thing, in the right way, and to do nothing to cause the Gospel to be blamed.
Pray, above all, that we may go straight on, even unto the end– that we may never lose our first love, and go back from first principles,– that it may never be said of us, that we are not the men we once were, but that we may go on consistently and faithfully, die in harness, and finish our course with joy, and the ministry which we have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.”
–J.C. Ryle, “What Is Our Position,” Home Truths, seventh series (Ipswich: William Hunt, 1859), 267-268. These words were addressed to pastors at Weston-Super-Mare in August 1858.