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Character

Sunday, March 7, 2010
In 1873, J. C. Ryle wrote:
Let us learn what miserable creatures great men are when they have no high principles within them and no faith in the reality of a God above them. The meanest laborer who has grace and fears God is a nobler being in the eyes of his Creator than the king, ruler or statesman whose first aim it is to please the people. To have one conscience in private and another in public – one rule of duty for our own souls and another for our public actions – to see clearly what is right before God and yet for the sake of popularity to do wrong – this may seem to some both right and politic and statesmanlike and wise. But it is a character which no Christian man can ever regard with respect.
Let us pray that our own country may never be without men in high places who have grace to think right and courage to act up to their knowledge without truckling to the opinion of men. Those who fear God more than man and care for pleasing God more than man are the best rulers of a nation and in the long run of years are always most respected. Men like Pontius Pilate, who are always trimming and compromising, led by popular opinion instead of leading popular opinion, afraid of doing right if it gives offence, ready to do wrong if it makes them personally popular, such men are the worst governors that a country can have. They are often God’s heavy judgment on a nation because of a nation’s sins. J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, Volume 3 (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1999), p. 301.

Posted via email from Dei Gratia Rex

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