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It’s no secret that I like J.C. Ryle.  I appreciate his keen insight into Scripture and his pastoral heart.  I also appreciate his directness.  I realize some people may be put off by that, but I see it as evidence of his genuine love both for the truth and for those of us who desperately need to hear the truth, even when we don’t want to.

I’m currently reading one of Ryle’s books (Holiness), and periodically quote from his writing.  Not incidentally, one of the best online sources for Ryle quotes is Erik Kowalker’s blog.  If you don’t already subscribe to it, I highly recommend it.  Recently Erik posted this gem, which needs no comment.  If taken to heart it would undoubtedly lead to widespread repentance in most American churches:

We shall all do well to remember the charge of the Apostle Paul–“Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is.” (Heb. 10:25). Never to be absent from God’s house on Sundays, without good reason–never to miss the Lord’s Supper when administered in our own congregation–never to let our place be empty when means of grace are going on, this is one way to be a growing and prosperous Christian. The very sermon that we needlessly miss, may contain a precious word in season for our souls. The very assembly for prayer and praise from which we stay away, may be the very gathering that would have cheered, established, and revived our hearts. We little know how dependent our spiritual health is on little, regular, habitual helps, and how much we suffer if we miss our medicine.