Posted by: stpowen | April 23, 2016

Bishop J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

May 10th will be the bicentenary of the birth of J.C. Ryle, the great Protestant Bishop of Liverpool.  The May issue of Banner of Truth is dedicated to him and is well worth reading.  I have drawn the quotation below from its pages.

Many of my readers come from the USA or elsewhere where he may not be as well known as he is among British Reformed Christians. His great book, Holiness and his Expository Thoughts on the Gospels should be on every Christians bookshelf (or on his Kindle!).

Writing of the vital principles of Christianity, he declared them to be:

The extreme sinfulness of sin, and my own personal sinfulness, hopelessness and personal need.  The entire suitableness of our Lord Jesus Christ by His sacrifice, substitution and intercession, to be the Saviour of the sinner’s soul.  The overwhelming value of a soul, as compared to anything else.  The absolute necessity of anybody who would be saved being born again, or converted by the Holy Ghost.  The indispensable necessity of holiness of life, being the only true evidence of a true Christian.  The absolute need for coming out from the world and being separate from the vain customs, recreations and standard of what’s right, as well as from its sins.  The supremacy of the Bible as the only rule of what is true in faith, or right in practice, and the need of regularly reading and studying it.  The absolute necessity of daily private prayer and communion with God, if anyone intends to lead the life of a true Christian.  The enormous value of what are called Protestant principles, as compared with Romanism.  The unspeakable excellence and beauty of the doctrine of the Second Advent of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.  the unutterable folly of supposing that Baptism is Regeneration, or formal going to Church Christianity, or taking the sacrament a means of wiping away sin, or clergymen to know more of the Bible than other people, or to be mediators between God and man by virtue of their office.

I have often had hard things to say about the Church of England.  J.C. Ryle was an Anglican through and through, but before that he was a Protestant Christian.  May God send us men like him in these days, Anglican or otherwise.

 

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