“Why then should any man or woman despair with such a passage as this in the Bible? Jesus is a physician who can cure hopeless cases.
He can quicken dead souls, and call the things which be not as though they were.
Never should any man or woman despair! Jesus is still the same now that He was eighteen hundred years ago. The keys of death and Hell are in His hand. When He opens none can shut.
What though your sins be more in number than the hairs of your head?
What though your evil habits have grown with your growth, and strengthened with your strength?
What though you have hitherto hated good, and loved evil, all the days of your life?
These things are sad indeed; but there is hope even for you. Christ can heal you. Christ can cleanse you. Christ can raise you from your low estate.
Heaven is not shut against you. Christ is able to admit you, if you will humbly commit your soul into His hands.
Reader, are your sins forgiven? If not, I set before you this day a full and free salvation. I invite you to follow the steps of the penitent thief,—come to Christ, and live.
I tell you that Jesus is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. I tell you He can do everything that your soul requires.
Though your sins be as scarlet, He can make them white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Why should you not be saved as well as another? Come unto Christ by faith, and live.
Reader, are you a true believer? If you are, you ought to glory in Christ.
Glory not in your own faith, your own feelings, your own knowledge, your own prayers, your own amendment, your own diligence. Glory in nothing but Christ.
Alas! the best of us knows but little of that merciful and mighty Saviour. We do not exalt Him and glory in Him enough. Let us pray that we may see more of the fulness there is in Him.
Reader, do you ever try to do good to others? If you do, remember to tell them about Christ.
Tell the young, tell the poor, tell the aged, tell the ignorant, tell the sick, tell the dying,—tell them all about Christ.
Tell them of His power, and tell them of His love.
Tell them of His doings, and tell them of His feelings.
Tell them of what He has done for the chief of sinners.
Tell them what He is willing to do to the last day of time.
Tell it them over and over again. Never be tired of speaking of Christ.
Say to them broadly and fully, freely and unconditionally, unreservedly and undoubtingly, ‘Come unto Christ as the penitent thief did,—come unto Christ, and you shall be saved.'”
–J.C. Ryle, Living or Dead? A Series of Home Truths (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1851), 262–265.