Rotten at the heart!

(J. C. Ryle, "Our Hope!" 1877)

"Everyone who has this hope in Christ keeps
 himself pure, just as Christ is pure." 1 John 3:3

The man who has a good hope will show it in all
his ways. It will influence his life, his character,
and his daily conduct. It will make him strive to
be a holy, godly, conscientious, spiritual man.
He will feel under a constant obligation to serve
and please Him from whom his hope comes.

If there is light in a house it will shine through the
windows--if there is any real hope in a man's soul
it will be seen in his ways. Show me your hope in
your life and daily behavior. Where is it? How does
it appear? If you cannot show it, you may be sure
it is nothing better than a delusion and a snare.

The hope that does not make a man . . .
in all the relations of life--is not from God.

Let us beware of any hope that does not exercise
a sanctifying influence over our . . .
  conduct, and
It is a hope that never came down from above. It is
mere base metal, and counterfeit coin. It lacks the
mint-stamp of the Holy Spirit, and will never pass
current in heaven. The hope that does not make a
man holy--is no hope at all.

The person who can allow himself in any willful and
habitual breach of God's law, is rotten at the heart!
He may talk of his hope as much as he pleases--but
he has none in reality. His religion is . . .
  a joy to the devil,
  a stumbling block to the world,
  a sorrow to true Christians,
  and an offence to God!

Oh, that people would consider these things!