J. C. Ryle: Don’t leave your hearts at home

And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” (Mark 7:6-8)

J. C. Ryle comments:

The heart is the part of man which God chiefly notices in religion.

  • The bowed head,
  • and the bended knee–
  • the grave face and the rigid posture–
  • the ritual response, and the formal amen–
  • all these together do not make up a spiritual worshiper.

The eyes of God look further and deeper. He requires the worship of the heart. “My son,” he says to every one of us, “Give me your heart.

Let us remember this in the public congregation. It must not content us to take our bodies to church, if we leave our hearts at home.


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