Iain Murray’s new Banner of Truth biography on J. C. Ryle, 19th century British Anglican pastor, gives an outstanding glimpse into Ryle, which many Christians would enjoy and greatly benefit from, who have profited from Ryle’s writings, but know nothing about him. In this newly-released biography, J. C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, Murray gives a close-up look at the entire life and ministry of Ryle, with a very valuable insight into how Ryle had to choose to stand for the truth against increasing liberalism within his own church denomination.
I strongly encourage you to get the book and read it as part of your summer reading. It is not a big book (259 pages) and can easily be read over a 2 week period.
Some of my Daily Thoughts for now will be some choice gleanings from Ryle in this wonderful book.
J. C. Ryle’s life (1816-1900) included remarkable contrasts — the promise of a fortune, then the poverty of a family bankruptcy; a Suffolk country pastor, then bishop of the leading seaport of the British Empire. But also there was still a greater change–from the successful youth at the elite schools of Eton and Oxford, who did not pray or read his Bible until he was 21, to become a true Christian, who was ‘bold as a lion for the truth of God’s Word and his Gospel.’ Ryle’s life is convincing evidence that Christianity stands or falls, depending on its relation to the Word of God and to the Holy Spirit. That Ryle is being read widely at the present time gives hope for better days.
– Iain Murray
Some perspectives on Ryle —
F. J. Chavasse called him “that man of granite with the heart of a child.”
Marcus Loane said, “Ryle was, at heart, an evangelist.”
Martyn Lloyd-Jones called Ryle a “famous, outstanding, and beloved exponent of the evangelical and reformed faith.”
J. I. Packer says Ryle was “a single-minded Christian communicator of profound biblical, theological and pastoral wisdom, a man and minister of giant personal stature, and electric force (unction was the old name for it).”
Richard Hobson, Ryle’s pastor in Liverpool while he was bishop there, said Ryle was “bold as a lion for the truth of God’s Word and his Gospel.”
“We want more boldness among the friends of truth; there is far too much tendency to sit still and wait for committees . . . . we want more men who are not afraid to stand alone. It is truth, not numbers, which shall always in the end prevail. We have the truth, and we need not be ashamed to say so. The judgment day will prove who is right, and to that day we boldly appeal.”
– J. C. Ryle
TO BE CONTINUED —