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J.C. Ryle

First Anglican bishop of Liverpool

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 J.C. Ryle
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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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Works by J.C. Ryle

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Ryle became the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool during a volatile time for the Church of England. Some church leaders fought for high church practices and a return to Catholic tradition, and others fought for low church practices and evangelism. This commentary on the Book of Matthew belongs to a seven-volume series on the four Gospels. Just as a great portion of Ryle’s work focuses on Christ’s life, so also did his pastoral messages stress evangelism. His commentaries reflect his deep desire for all people to hear Christ’s call and receive salvation.

John Ryle had his beginnings at Oxford, where he was an athlete and first class student of the Greats. He was headed for a career in politics, but then was called to the ministry. This work is a study of holiness, or Christian perfection. Ryle works to debunk many of the popular beliefs of his day concerning holiness. Reviewers praise his balance of honest, tough-love messages and compassionate, pastoral care. An intense but readable book, Holiness has been inspiration for living a Christian life for over a century. Believers looking for instructions on how to improve their lifestyle and continue the process of sanctification will value this book, which discusses grace, God's love, and, of course, holiness.

Children's sermons, narrated by Ruth Lomas.

Ryle became the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool during a volatile time for the Church of England. Some church leaders fought for high church practices and a return to Catholic tradition, and others fought for low church practices and evangelism. The Upper Room contains a miscellaneous selection of papers and sermons the author had shared with others throughout his nearly fifty-year ministry. Just as a great portion of Ryle’s work focuses on Christ’s life, so also did his pastoral messages stress evangelism. His commentaries reflect his deep desire for all people to hear Christ’s call and receive salvation.

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