Light From Old Times (Complete Works of J.C. Ryle)

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9780967760308: Light From Old Times (Complete Works of J.C. Ryle)

In this book Ryle casts light on milestones long forgotten by his generation. When was the Gospel first preached in the English tongue? Who was the first man to translate the entire Bible into English? Why were men, women, and children burned alive? How did Mary Tudor earn the unhappy name "Bloody Mary"? Whose evil policies forced thousands of seventeenth-century pilgrims to seek refuge in America? Drawing from his classical education, Ryle answers these questions by tracing the English Reformation as it was seen through the eyes of those who reformed the Church. Well schooled in the Fathers who kept the faith, he instructs their childrens children who will inherit that faith. He brings focus and clarity to the epochs which forever changed the destiny of the English speaking peoples.

With his typical eloquence he lays bare the plain truth for all to see. While some pages are filled with the fragrant aroma of Gods grace, others reek with the stench of burning fleshbut all are Ryle at his bestgracious, forceful, judicious, and honest. "Light From Old Times" illuminates the ancient paths. Like points on a compass, the lives sketched in this volume and the doctrines uncovered by it guide us toward the true Gospelthe one worth living forand the one worth dying for.

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About the Author:

Raised in a nominal Christian home, John Charles Ryle (18161900) was of the distinct opinion that Christianity must be one of the most disagreeable occupations on earthor in heaven. One day in 1837 he happed into a church where, hearing Scripture read out loud, he was transformed. One verse, and the emphasis made in between each clause, gripped him. By grace are ye savedthrough faithand that not of yourselvesit is the gift of God.

The son of a banker, Ryle grew up in a wealthy home and actually pursued a career in banking. However, in 1841 his fathers investments collapsed, and instantly his whole future changed. We got up one summers morning with all the world before us as usual, and went to bed that night completely and entirely ruined. By fall, J.C. applied himself to Christian service.

Ordained to the Anglican ministry in December 1841, he became Rector of the Church of St. Thomas in Winchester. From there he moved to the parish of Helmingham in Hampshire, serving three years. After that he served thirty-six years in Suffolk. In 1880, he became the first Bishop of the new diocese of Liverpool.

Oxford trained, Ryle is best remembered for his exceptional writing skills. He once commented, In style and composition, I frankly avow that I have studied as far as possible to be plain and pointed and to choose what an old divine calls picked and packed words. I have tried to place myself in the position of one who is reading aloud to others.

He credits William Cobbett, the political radical, Thomas Guthrie, the Scot, John Bright, the Quaker orator, John Bunyan, Puritan and author of Pilgrims Progress, Matthew Henry, the great biblical commentator, and William Shakespeare, of course, as influences upon his pen.

Review:

"This first volume from a new publishing house promises to bring many more behind it, and those who want to encourage this process may do so by taking this book over to the cash register right now. But encouraging the process and encouraging your soul are two different things. The latter should be done by sitting down as soon as you have the book and some hours to spend with it. Once the reader has well begun, stopping will be extremely difficult. The lessons Ryle draws, and the stories he tells, have the ability to grip the mind and hold the reader down in his seat. . . .

The fact that we have forgotten these stories, and have not told them to our children once, is astounding. Only the last day will completely reveal the glorious nature of the martyrdoms under Bloody Mary. But a significant portion of that glory can be read, here. And the concluding story about James II and the trial of the Seven Bishops is worth the price of the whole book. . . .

After this book is finished, the reader will have learned a great deal about the English Reformation. But I trust he will also have learned about the man who has wonderfully reminded us of these things. . . .

Ryle was a man of God. Those who complete this book will certainly come away better informed. But that is just a part of what they will receive." -- Douglas Wilson, Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho

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