Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thoughts on J.C. Ryle

John Charles Ryle (1816-1900)

J. C. Ryle was a prolific writer, vigorous preacher, faithful pastor, husband of three wives (widowed three times) and the father to five children. He was thoroughly evangelical in his doctrine and uncompromising in his Biblical principles.

In 1880, after 38 years in Pastoral ministry in rural England, at age 64, he became the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool. He retired in 1900 at age 83 and died later the same year at the age of 84.

Today, I am going to share some quotes from J. C. Ryle. He is an author who lived around a hundred years ago and had many things to share about domestic and spiritual issues that we face from day to day. Here are some examples of a few of his books:

When my children were younger, I often read selections of J.D. Ryle's writings to them. It seemed heavy and over their heads, yet, occasionally one of my sons would find one of his books worthy of reading. Each of my sons was given the book, "Thoughts for Young Men" to read. It is such a wonderful book!!

When I would read to my children, I just had no idea whether there would ever be fruit from my faulty efforts. I will likely never know!! So many things we read goes down deep into our conscious thought and we don't remember where we got this or that from. In conversation, haven't you occasionally shared something which you KNOW you read somewhere and you don't remember which book or article it was from?! Well, in the same respect, I think some of the things we read to our children will not show obvious fruit until we pass on to our eternal home.


This is also a good reason for younger moms to be encouraged to read aloud to your children. It is a good time to cuddle with your children and build eternal values through books. Your children will never be able to forget the overall impact these years had on them spiritually. If they walk with the Lord, the words from the authors will have a heavy impact on their young lives. If they walk away from the relationship and gift that the Lord is offering to them, they still will never ever be able to fully forget all that you taught them. 

I hope and pray that this never happens to any of your children. I see so many families who are godly, godly families who have one or sadly  even more children who have not chosen the eternal relationship available to us in Jesus Christ. If you have such a child, please feel free to email me and share with me the first name of your child, as I will pray!!

If I haven't lost you....here are the quotes that I found, taken from J.C. Ryle's book, "Practical Religion" 1878)

"Strive to enter in at the straight gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!" Luke 13:24

"STRIVE" teaches that a man must expect many adversaries and a hard battle--if he would have his soul saved. And this, as a matter of experience, is strictly true. There are no "gains without pains" in spiritual things--any more than in temporal things. That roaring lion, the devil--will never let a soul escape from him without a struggle. The heart which is naturally sensual and earthly--will never be turned to spiritual things without a daily fight. The world, with all its opposition and temptations--will never be overcome without a conflict.

I warn you to take heed that you do not perish forever--for lack of "striving." Do not suppose that it needs some great scarlet sin to bring you to the pit of eternal destruction! You have only to sit still and do nothing--and you will find yourself there at last. Yes! Satan does not ask you to walk in the steps of Cain, and Pharaoh, and Ahab, and Judas Iscariot. There is another road to Hell quite as sure--the road of spiritual indolence, spiritual laziness, and spiritual sloth!

Satan has no objection to your being a respectable member of the Christian Church. He will allow you to sit comfortably in church every Sunday you live. He knows full well, that so long as you do not "strive"--that you must come at last to the worm that never dies, and the fire that is never quenched! Take heed that you do not come to this end. I repeat it, you have only to do nothing--and you will be eternally lost!

Think, think above all things, what a state this is to die in! Your life is but a vapor. A few more years at most--and you are gone! Your place in the world will soon be filled up; your house will be occupied by another.
The sun will go on shining;
the grass and daises will soon grow thick over your grave;
your body will be food for worms,
and your soul will be lost to all eternity!



  1. Ryle is definitely one of my favorite authors. I was given a small bookshelf for the dining room, and he is one of the first authors to be unpacked and placed on the shelf.

  2. Once I ordered a book not realizing that it was a set of about 9 books of his. We enjoyed reading them aloud (at least 2 of the books) and surprisingly, my youngest son, was 'caught' with his book. Surprisingly because he is not a fast reader or one to pick up a book.


If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back --
Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.


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