Eagle in an Iron Cage

It is common to hear people saying on their deathbeds, “I only want the Lord to forgive me my sins, and take me to rest.” But those who say such things forget the rest of heaven would be utterly useless if we had no heart to enjoy it! What could an unsanctified man do in heaven, if by any chance he got there? Let that question be fairly looked in the face and fairly answered. No man can possibly be happy in a place where he is not in his element and where all around him is not congenial to his tastes, habits and character. When an eagle is happy in an iron cage, when a sheep is happy in the water, when an owl is happy in the blaze of noonday sun, when a fish is happy on the dry land – then, and not only then, will I admit that the unsanctified man could be happy in heaven.

~ J. C. Ryle, Holiness

What are your thoughts about Ryle’s assertion that an unsanctified man could not be happy in heaven (if by any chance he got there)?


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