If you desire salvation… (a long quote by J. C. Ryle)
“If any reader of this paper desires salvation, and wants to know what to do, I advise him to go this very day to the Lord Jesus Christ, in the first private place he can find, and entreat Him in prayer to save his soul.
Tell Him that you have heard that He receives sinners, and has said, ‘Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.’ (John 6:37.)
Tell Him that you are a poor vile sinner, and that you come to Him on the faith of His own invitation.
Tell Him you put yourself wholly and entirely in His hands,—that you feel vile and helpless, and hopeless in yourself,—and that except He saves you, you have no hope to be saved at all.
Beseech Him to deliver you from the guilt, the power, and the consequences of sin.
Beseech Him to pardon you and wash you in His own blood.
Beseech Him to give you a new heart, and plant the Holy Spirit in your soul.
Beseech Him to give you grace, and faith, and will, and power to be His disciple and servant from this day for ever.
Yes: go this very day, and tell these things to the Lord Jesus Christ, if you really are in earnest about your soul.
Tell Him in your own way and your own words. If a doctor came to see you when sick you could tell him where you felt pain. If your soul really feels its disease you can surely find something to tell Christ.
Doubt not His willingness to save you, because you are a sinner. It is Christ’s office to save sinners. He says Himself, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance.’ (Luke 5:32.)
Wait not, because you feel unworthy. Wait for nothing: wait for nobody. Waiting comes from the devil.
Just as you are, go to Christ. The worse you are, the more need you have to apply to Him. You will never mend yourself by staying away.
Fear not because your prayer is stammering, your words feeble, and your language poor. Jesus can understand you.
Just as a mother understands the first babblings of her infant, so does the blessed Saviour understand sinners. He can read a sigh, and see a meaning in a groan.
Despair not, because you do not get an answer immediately. While you are speaking, Jesus is listening. If He delays an answer, it is only for wise reasons, and to try if
you are in earnest.
Pray on, and the answer will surely come. Though it tarry, wait for it: it will surely come at last.
If you have any desire to be saved, remember the advice I have given you this day. Act upon it honestly and heartily, and you shall be saved.”