J.C. Ryle on Jellyfish

Dislike of dogma is an epidemic which is just now doing great harm, and especially among young people. . . . It produces what I must venture to call . . . a “jelly-fish” Christianity . . . a Christianity without bone, or muscle, or power. . . . Alas! It is a type of much of the religion of this day, of which the leading principle is, “no dogma, no distinct tenets, no positive doctrine.”

We have hundreds of “jellyfish” clergyman, who seem not to have a single bone in their body of divinity. They have no definite opinions . . . they are so afraid of “extreme views” that they have no views of all.

We have thousands of “jellyfish” sermons preached every year, sermons without an edge, or a point, or corner, smooth as billiard balls, awakening no sinner, and edifying no saint. . . .

And worst of all, we have myriads of “jellyfish” worshipers—respectable Church-gone people, who have no distinct and definite views about any point in theology. They cannot discern things that differ, any more than colorblind people can distinguish colors. . . . They are “tossed to and fro, like children, by every wind of doctrine”; . . . ever ready for new things, because they have no firm grasp on the old.

J. C. Ryle, Principles for Churchmen (London: William Hunt, 8 1084), 97–98. Quoted in J. I. Packer, Faithfulness and Holiness, 72–73.


Quote of the Day

“Love to the Lord Jesus Christ is no hidden, secret, impalpable thing. It is like the light–it will be seen. It is like sound–it will be heard. It is like heat–it will be felt. Where it exists, it cannot be hid. Where it cannot be seen, you may be sure there is none.” – Holiness by J. C. Ryle p. 312

Don’t Wait to Repent

Some people are living their lives as they please, thinking that one day, when they grow old, maybe even on their death bed they will finally turn to God so that they will escape hell and go to heaven.  But such an idea is faulty at best, damning at worst.


“You may say, perhaps, ‘It is never too late to repent.’  I answer–‘That is right enough: but late repentance is seldom true.  And I say farthur, you cannot be certain if you put off repenting, you will repent at all.’
You may say, ‘Why should I be afraid?–the penitent thief was saved.’
I answer–‘That is true: but look again at the passage which tells you that the other thief was lost.'”
– J. C. Ryle Holiness p. 236

Turn to God today, do not wait.

Wisdom in Making Life’s Decisions

“Remember this in choosing a calling, a place, or profession in life.  It is not enough that the salary is high–the wages good–the work light–the advantages numerous–the prospects of getting on most favorable. Think of your soul, your immortal soul.  Will it be prospered or drawn back?  Will you have your Sundays free, and be able to have one day in the week for your spiritual business?  I beseech you, by the mercies of God, to take heed to what you do.  Make no rash decision.  Look at the place in every light–the light of God as well as the light of the world.  Gold may be bought too dear.”

J. C. Ryle – Holiness p. 197

Quote of the Day

Years are slipping away and time is flying.  Graveyards are filling up and families are thinning.  Death and judgment are getting nearer to us all.  And yet you live like one asleep about your soul!  What madness!  What folly!  What suicide can be worse than this?
Awake before it be too late; awake, and arise from the dead, and live to God.  Turn to him who is sitting at the right hand of God, to be your Savior and Friend.  Turn to Christ, and cry mightily to him about your soul.  There is yet hope!

Holiness by J. C. Ryle p. 118

Quote of the Day

Many admire growth in grace in others, and wish that they themselves were like them.  But they seem to suppose that those who grow are what they are by some special gift or grant from God, and that as this gift is not bestowed on themselves they must be content to sit still.  This is a grievous delusion, and one against which I desire to testify with all my might.  I wish it to be distinctly understood that growth in grace is bound up with the use of means within the reach of all believers, and that, as a general rule, growing souls are what they are because they use these means.
Holiness by J. C. Ryle p. 114