Synopsis: John Charles Ryle (1816-1900) once believed that Christianity must be one of the most disagreeable occupations on earth - or in heave. But one day in 1837 he happed into a church where, hearing Scripture read out loud, he was transformed. One verse, and the emphasis made in between each clause, gripped him: " By grace are ya saved...through faith...and that not of yourselves...it is the gift of God." (Eph. 2:8)
In 1841 the Church of England ordained him as a minister of the gospel. In 1880, when he was 64 years old, after serving 39 years in the ministry, he became the first Bishop of Liverpoo, a post he held for twenty years. He was affectionately known as "the working man's bishop."
Ryle was a theological vertebrate. He never suffered from what he called a "boneless, nerveless, jellyfish condition of soul." His convictions were not negotiable. Indeed his successor described him as "that man of granite." Archbishop Magee called him "the frank and manly Mr. Ryle." Charles Spurgeon said he was an "evangelical champion." Ryle simply observed, "What is won dearly is priced highly and clung to firmly."
J. C. Ryle died on Trinity Sunday, 1900. Today, more than a hundred years after his death, his woks stand at the crossroads between the historic faith and modern evangelicalism. They are signposts directing us to the "old paths." And holiness, no doubt, is not least among them, for without it no man shall see the Lord. (from the back of the book)
Review: I could waxed episodic about this book, going on until all perished, but I shall say two things and then list favorite quotes, that you might judge yourself the merit of this work.
1: Ryle's wrote for the people of that late 1800s. Yet, the things he mentions seem from today. Despite the time this work comes from, it is relevant today even more so then when it was written.
2: Ryle is anti-catholic and makes disparaging remarks on that subject. Be warned if you are sensitive to that.
"We have too often been content with zeal for orthodoxy, and have neglected the sober realities of daily practical godliness." - page 16
"I should as soon expect a farmer to prosper in business who contented himself with sowing his fields and never looking at them till harvest, as expect a believer to attain much holiness who was not diligent about his Bible-reading, his prayers and his use of Sundays. Our God is a God of means and He will never bless the soul of the man who pretends to be so high and spiritual that he can get on without them." - page 25
"Let us feel convinced, that whatever others may say, that holiness is happiness, and that the man who gets through life most comfortably is the sanctified man." - page 40
"I suspect, that with rare exceptions, men die just as they have lived." - page 50
"You may try to put me off by saying you "feel much, and think much about these things: far more than many suppose." I answer, "This is not the point. The poor lost souls in hell do as much as this. The great question is not what you think , and what you feel, but what you DO." - page 55
"A religion which cost nothing is worth nothing." - page 97
"Let us follow on ad never forget that it signifies nothing whether we are better than others or not. At our very best we are far worse than we ought to be. There will always be room for improvement in us. We shall be debtors to Christ's mercy and grace to the very last. Then let us leave off looking at others and comparing ourselves with others. We shall find enough to do if we look at our own hearts." - page 117
"When days of darkness come upon us, let us not count it a strange thing. Rather let us remember that lessons are learned on such days, which would never have been learned in sunshine." - page 118
"But if you really are in earnest about your soul, if your religion is something more than a mere fashionable Sunday cloak, if you are determined to live by the Bible, if you are resolved to be a New Testament Christian, then, I repeat, you will soon find you must carry a cross." - page 171
"But I do urge on every professing Christian who wishes to be happy, the immense importance of making no compromise between God and the world." - page 206
"This is one secret of eminent holiness. He that would be conformed to Christ's image, and become a Christ-like man, must be constantly studying Christ Himself." - page 234
"If you profess to be a child of God, leave to the Lord Jesus to sanctify you in His own way." - page 237
"No one can say how much weakness might appear in himself if he was place in circumstances go call it forth." - page 244
"Let all the world know that the Lord Jesus will not cast away His believing people because of shortcomings and infirmities." - page 252
"Love to Christ is the mainspring of work for Christ." - page 291
"It is not when we feel good, but when we feel bad, that we take he first step towards heaven." - page 316
"The more real grace men have in their hearts, the deeper their sense of sin." - page 336
"Christ is the mainspring both of doctrinal and practical Christianity." - page 370
"We must come in the name of Jesus, standing on no other ground, pleading no other plea than this: "Christ died on the cross for the ungodly and I trust in Him. Christ died for me, and I believe on Him." - page 378
Bookmarks: 9 of 10
Date Finished: 04-23-2011