Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal
J.C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle (1816 - 1900)

J.C. Ryle was a prolific writer, vigorous preacher, faithful pastor, husband of three wives, [widowed three times: Matilda died in 1847, Jessie died in 1860, Henrietta died in 1889] and the father to five children [1 with Matilta and 4 with Jessie]. 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.

“He [J.C. Ryle] was great through the abounding grace of God. He was great in stature; great in mental power; great in spirituality; great as a preacher and expositor of God’s most holy Word; great in hospitality; great as a writer of Gospel tracts; great as a Bishop of the Reformed Evangelical Protestant Church in England, of which he was a noble defender; great as first Bishop of Liverpool. I am bold to say, that perhaps few men in the nineteenth century did as much for God, for truth, and for righteousness, among the English speaking race, and in the world, as our late Bishop.” - Rev. Richard Hobson, three days after Ryle’s burial in 1900.

John Charles Ryle was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool. 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), Principles for Churchmen (1884).

Thoroughly evangelical in his doctrine and uncompromising in his principles, J.C. Ryle was a prolific writer, vigorous preacher, and faithful pastor.

In his diocese, he exercised a vigorous and straightforward preaching ministry, and was a faithful pastor to his clergy, exercising particular care over ordination retreats. He formed a clergy pension fund for his diocese and built over forty churches. Despite criticism, he put raising clergy salaries ahead of building a cathedral for his new diocese.

Ryle combined his commanding presence and vigorous advocacy of his principles with graciousness and warmth in his personal relations. Vast numbers of working men and women attended his special preaching meetings, and many became Christians.

      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).

... Show more
J.C. Ryle

A Blind Man Cured

"And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to him and entreated him to touch him. And taking the blind man by the hand, he brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying his hands upon him, he asked him, Do you see anything? And he looked up and said, I see ... Read More
J.C. Ryle

A Call to Prayer

I have a question to offer you. It is contained in three words, Do you pray? The question is one that none but you can answer. Whether you attend public worship or not, your minister knows. Whether you have family prayers in your house or not, your relations know. But whether you pray in private or ... Read More
J.C. Ryle

A Conversation with Nicodemus

"I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’ The wind blows wherever it will, and yo... Read More
J.C. Ryle

A Difficult Passage

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh... Read More
J.C. Ryle

A look at Communion

"A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup" (1 Corinthians 11:28) The words which form the tittle of this paper refer to the subject of vast importance. That subject is the Lord's Supper. Perhaps no part of the Christian religion is so thoroughly misunderstood ... Read More
J.C. Ryle

A Praying Saviour

"Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, he went out and departed to a solitary place; and there he prayed. Simon and those who were with him searched for him. When they found him, they said, to him, 'Everyone is looking for you.' But he said to them, 'Let us go into the next ... Read More
J.C. Ryle

A Woman to Be Remembered

A Woman to Be Remembered "Remember Lot’s wife." (Luke 17:32). There are few warnings in Scripture more solemn than that which heads this page. The Lord Jesus Christ says to us, "Remember Lot’s wife." Lot’s wife was a professor of religion; her husband was a "righteous man" (2 Pet. 2:8). She left Sod... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Able to Save

There is one subject in religion, about which you 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 Jesus Christ's intercession. I have heard of a book entitled "The Story without an End." I know... Read More
J.C. Ryle

An Account of the Conversion of J.C. Ryle

John Charles Ryle: Evangelical Bishop; Peter Toon & Michael Smout; Reiner Publications, Swengel, PA USA; (1976); page 26 “…..But two years before his conversion in 1837, a minor incident brought momentum to an inexorable process. Ryle was out shooting with his old Eton friend, Algernon Coote, and so... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Are We Sanctified?

“Sanctify them through Thy truth.”--John xvii. 17. “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.”--1 Thessalonians iv. 3. The question which heads this page is one which many, I fear, will dislike exceedingly. Some perhaps may even turn from it with scorn and disdain. The very last thing they ... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Are You Asleep?

"Awake thou that sleepest."-Eph. 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 Kin... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Are You Born Again?

Are you born again? This is one of life's most important questions. Jesus Christ said, "Except a man be 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 ... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Are You Fighting?

“Fight the good fight of faith”—1 Timothy 6:12 It is a curious fact that there is no subject about which most people feel such deep interest as “fighting.” Young men and maidens, old men and little children, high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, all feel a deep interest in wars, battle... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Are You Looking?

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 St. 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 ... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Are You Ready?

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 we may meet before the end. All before us is uncertain: we know n... Read More
J.C. Ryle


“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 u... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Authentic Religion

"Rejected silver" (Jeremiah 6:30) "Nothing but leaves" (Mark 11:13) "Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:18). "You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead" (Revelation 3:1) If we profess to have any religion at all, let us be careful that it is au... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Bible Reading - Part 1

"Study the Scriptures" (John 5:39). "How do you read it?" (Luke 10:26). Next to praying there is nothing so important in practical religion as Bible-reading. God has mercifully given us a book which is "able to make [us] wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). By reading ... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Bible Reading - Part 2

(a) The world is full of difficulties about points of doctrine. The house of error lies close alongside the house of truth. The door of one is so like the door of the other that there is continual risk of mistakes. Does a man read or travel much? He will soon find the most opposite opinions prevaili... Read More
J.C. Ryle

Bishop John Hooper’s Letter of January 21, 1555

A letter which Master Hooper did write out of prison to certain of his friends, three weeks before his cruel burning at Gloucester. The grace of God be with you. Amen. I did write unto you of late, and told you what extremity the Parliament had concluded upon concerning religion, suppressing the tru... Read More

Group of Brands