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J.C. Ryle
1816-1900

      John Charles Ryle was born at Macclesfield and was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was a fine athlete who rowed and played Cricket for Oxford, where he took a first class degree in Greats and was offered a college fellowship (teaching position) which he declined. The son of a wealthy banker, he was destined for a career in politics before answering a call to ordained ministry.

      He was spiritually awakened in 1838 while hearing Ephesians 2 read in church. He was ordained by Bishop Sumner at Winchester in 1842. After holding a curacy at Exbury in Hampshire, he became rector of St Thomas's, Winchester (1843), rector of Helmingham, Suffolk (1844), vicar of Stradbroke (1861), honorary canon of Norwich (1872), and dean of Salisbury (1880). In 1880, at age 64, he became the first bishop of Liverpool, at the recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. He retired in 1900 at age 83 and died later the same year.

      Ryle was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of Ritualism. Among his longer works are Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century (1869), Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols, 1856-69) and Principles for Churchmen (1884).

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       "The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is desperately wicked: who can know it? I, the Lord, search the mind, I try the heart, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." (Jeremiah 17:9-10) The first of these two verses contains a very strong saying, and one which the world in general is not at a ...read
ArticleAlive or Dead?
       "And He has made you alive, who were once dead in trespasses and sins." Ephesians 2:1 The question which forms the title of this paper deserves a thousand thoughts. I invite every reader of this volume to look at it carefully, and ponder it well. Search your own heart, and do not lay down this book without solemn self-inquiry. Are you among the ...read
ArticleAll Kinds of Strange Teachings
       "Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings! It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them." Hebrews 13:9 The text which heads this paper is an apostolic caution against false doctrine. It forms part of a warning which Paul addressed to Hebrew Christians. ...read
SermonAn Example in Word
       "Be an example of the believers in word." 1 Timothy 4:12. Brethren, the subject on which I am requested to address you today, is entitled- "The minister, an example to believers in word." I open it under a deep sense of my own inability to do it justice, and with deep regret that it has not fallen into better hands. The text on which the subject ...read
ArticleApostolic Fears
       "I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." 2 Corinthians 11:3 The text which heads this page, contains one part of the experience of a very famous Christian. No servant of Christ perhaps has left such a mark for good on the world, as th ...read
ArticleAre you an Heir?
      "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God. For you didn't receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ ...read
ArticleAre You Asleep?
       "Awake, you who sleep." Ephesians 5:14 I put before you now a simple question. Look through the pages of this paper and you will soon see why I ask it. "Are you asleep about your soul?" There are many who have the name of Christians--but not the character which should go with the name. God is not King of their hearts. "They mind earthly things. ...read
SermonAre You Born Again?
      Are you born again? This is one of life's most important questions. Jesus Christ said, "Except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). It is not enough to reply, "I belong to the church; I suppose I'm a Christian." Thousands of nominal Christians show none of the signs of being born again which the Scriptures have given ...read
ArticleAre You Born Again?
      This is one of the most important questions in religion. Jesus Christ says, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God"-John 3:3. Are you born again? It is not enough to reply, "I belong to the church; and I suppose I am." Thousands of nominal Christians have none of the marks and signs of being born again which the Scripture ha ...read
ArticleAre You Looking?
       "Looking unto Jesus!" Hebrews 12:2 The question which heads this page may seem an odd one at first sight. To whom or to what does it apply? The words of Paul, below it, supply the key to its meaning. It is an inquiry concerning your soul and the Lord Jesus Christ. It means neither more nor less than this- "Are you looking unto Jesus?" "Looking ...read
ArticleAre You Ready
       "Be also ready." Matthew 24:44 Reader, I ask you a plain question at the beginning of a New Year. Are you ready? It is a solemn thing to part company with the old year. It is a still more solemn thing to begin a new one. It is like entering a dark passage. We know not what the may meet before the end. All before us is uncertain. We know not what ...read
ArticleAre you Regenerate?
      Reader, I wish to speak to you about Regeneration, or being born again. The subject is a most important one at any time. Those words of our Lord Jesus Christ to Nicodemus are very solemn, "Unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3.) The world has gone through many changes since those words were spoken. Eighteen hund ...read
SermonAssurance
       "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all those who love his appearing." (2 Tim ...read
ArticleBe Content
      "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with such things as you have, because God has said--Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 The words which head this paper are soon spoken, and often cost the speaker very little. Nothing is cheaper than good advice! Everybody imagines that he can give his neighbo ...read
ArticleBe Zealous
       "It is always good to be zealous in a good cause." (Galatians 4:18) There is a subject before your eyes of vast importance. I mean the subject of religious zeal. It is a subject, like many others in religion, most sadly misunderstood. Many would be ashamed to be thought "zealous." Many are ready to say of zealous people what Festus said of Paul ...read
ArticleCalvary
      You probably know that Calvary was a place close to Jerusalem, where the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified. We know nothing else about Calvary beside this. I call this tract "Calvary," because I am going to speak to you about the sufferings and crucifixion of Christ. I am afraid that much ignorance prevails among people on the subje ...read
ArticleChrist Crucified
      There is no doctrine in Christianity so important as the doctrine of Christ crucified. There is none which the devil tries so hard to destroy. There is none which it is so needful for our own peace to understand. By "Christ crucified," I mean the doctrine that Christ suffered death on the cross to make atonement for our sins--that by His death He ...read
SermonChrist in the Sick Room
      Isaiah had said--"Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaster on the boil, and he shall recover." --Isaiah 38:21 Sickness, disease, decay, and death are the common lot of all mankind without exception. You have a striking proof of this in the chapter from which my text is taken. The Holy Spirit shows us a king and ruler of men, a dwelle ...read
ArticleChrist's Invitation
       "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 The text which heads this paper is one which deserves to be written in letters of gold. Few verses of Scripture have done more good to the souls of people than this old familiar invitation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us examine it carefully, and see ...read
ArticleChrist's Power to Save
       "He is able to save to the uttermost, those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25 There is one subject in religion about which we can never know too much. That subject is Jesus Christ the Lord. This is the mighty subject which the text that heads this page unfolds, Jesus Christ, and ...read

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