“The hope which ‘maketh not ashamed’ (Rom. 5:5) is never separate from God’s Word.
Men wonder sometimes that ministers press them so strongly to read the Bible. They marvel that we say so much about the importance of preaching, and urge them so often to hear sermons.
Let them cease to wonder, and marvel no more. Our object is to make you acquainted with God’s Word.
We want you to have a good hope, and we know that a good hope must be drawn from the Scriptures.
Without reading or hearing you must live and die in ignorance. Hence we cry, “Search the Scriptures” “Hear, and your soul shall live.” (John 5:39. Isa. 55:3.)
I warn every one to beware of a hope not drawn from Scripture. It is a false hope, and many will find out this to their cost.
That glorious and perfect book, the Bible, however men despise it, is the only fountain out of which man’s soul can derive peace.
Many sneer at the old book while living, who find their need of it when dying.
The Queen in her palace and the pauper in the workhouse, the philosopher in his study and the child in the cottage,—each and all must be content to seek living water from the Bible, if they are to have any hope at all.
Honour your Bible,—read your Bible,—stick to your Bible.
There is not on earth a scrap of solid hope for the other side of the grave which is not drawn out of the Word of God.”
–J.C. Ryle, “Our Hope,” Old Paths: Being Plain Statements of Some of the Weightier Matters of Christianity (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1877/2013), 94.