An Encouraging Word to my Fellow Friends and Colleagues in the Ministry

by J. C. Ryle

a_new_lifeLet us learn from this parable [of the mustard seed] never to despair of any work for Christ…

…because its first beginnings are feeble and small.

A single minister in some large neglected town-district,—a single missionary amidst myriads of savage heathen,—a single reformer in the midst of a fallen and corrupt church,—each and all of these may seem at first sight utterly unlikely to do any good. To the eye of man, the work may appear too great, and the instrument employed quite unequal to it. Let us never give way to such thoughts. Let us remember the parable before us and take courage. When the line of duty is plain, we should not begin to count numbers, and confer with flesh and blood. We should believe that one man with the living seed of God’s truth on his side, like Luther or Knox, may turn a nation upside down. If God is with him, none shall stand against him. In spite of men and devils, the seed that he sows shall wax a great tree.