“Great is the wisdom wherewith the Lord Jesus Christ builds His Church! All is done at the right time, and in the right way. Each stone in its turn is put in its right place.
Sometimes He chooses great stones, and sometimes He chooses small stones. Sometimes the work goes on fast, and sometimes it goes on slowly. Man is frequently impatient, and thinks that nothing is doing.
But man’s time is not God’s time. A thousand years in His sight are but as a single day. The great Builder makes no mistakes. He knows what He is doing. He sees the end from the beginning.
He works by a perfect, unalterable, and certain plan. The mightiest conceptions of architects, like Michaelangelo and Wren, are mere trifling and child’s play, in comparison with Christ’s wise counsels respecting His Church.
Great is the condescension and mercy which Christ exhibits in building His Church! He often chooses the most unlikely and roughest stones, and fits them into a most excellent work.
He despises none, and rejects none, on account of former sins and past transgressions. He often makes Pharisees and Publicans become pillars of His house. He delights to show mercy.
He often takes the most thoughtless and ungodly, and transforms them into polished corners of His spiritual temple.
Great is the power which Christ displays in building His Church! He carries on His work in spite of opposition from the world, the flesh, and the devil.
In storm, in tempest, through troublous times, silently, quietly, without noise, without stir, without excitement, the building progresses, like Solomon’s temple. ‘I will work,’ He declares, ‘and who shall let it?’ (Isaiah 43:13.)
We ought to feel deeply thankful that the building of the true Church is laid on the shoulders of One that is mighty. If the work depended on man, it would soon stand still.
But, blessed be God, the work is in the hands of a Builder who never fails to accomplish His designs! Christ is the almighty Builder. He will carry on His work, though nations and visible Churches may not know their duty.
Christ will never fail. That which He has undertaken He will certainly accomplish.”
–J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots (London: William Hunt and Company, 1889), 312-312.