All the powers of hell shall never overthrow the Church. It shall continue, and stand, in spite of every assault. It shall never be overcome. All other created things perish and pass away, but not the Church of Christ. The hand of outward violence, or the moth of inward decay, prevail over everything else, but not over the temple that Christ builds. Empires have risen and fallen in rapid succession. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Tyre, Carthage, Rome, Greece, Venice - where are all these now? They were all the creations of man's hand, and have passed away. But the Church of Christ lives on. The mightiest cities have become heaps of ruins. The broad walls of Babylon are sunk to the ground. The palaces of Nineveh are mounds of dust. The hundred gates of Thebes are only matters of history. Tyre is a place where fishermen hang their nets. Carthage is a desolation. Yet all this time the true Church stands. The gates of hell do not prevail against it….Has the true Church been oppressed in one country? It has fled to another. Has it been trampled on and oppressed in one soil? It has taken root and flourished in some other climate. Fire, sword, prisons, fines, penalties, have never been able to destroy its vitality. Its persecutors have died and gone to their own place, but the Word of God has lived, and grown and multiplied. Weak as this true Church may appear to the eye of man, it is an anvil which has broken many a hammer in times past, and perhaps will break many more before the end. He that lays hands on it, is touching the apple of God's eye…Christ will never be without a witness in the world.
JOHN CHARLES RYLE
(Source: Warnings to the Churches)