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For more than a century, J. C. Ryle was best known for his clear and lively writings on practical and spiritual themes. His great aim in all his ministry was to encourage strong and serious Christian living. But Ryle was not naive in his understanding of how this should be done. He recognized that, as a pastor of the flock of God, he had a responsibility to guard Christ's sheep and to warn them whenever he saw approaching dangers. His penetrating comments are as wise and relevant today as they were when he first wrote them. His sermons and other writings have been consistently recognized, and their usefulness and impact have continued to the present day, even in the outdated English of the author's own day.
Why then should expositions already so successful and of such stature and proven usefulness require adaptation, revision, rewrite or even editing? The answer is obvious. To increase its usefulness to today's reader the language in which it was originally written needs updating. . .
John Charles Ryle (1816 - 1900) was an evangelical Anglican clergyman and first Bishop of Liverpool. He was renowned for his powerful preaching and extensive tracts. He was educated at Eton and then Christ Church, Oxford. He offered himself for ministry in the Church of England and was duly accepted and ordained in December 1841.He wrote several well-known books, among them are Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols, 1856–69), Holiness and Practical Religion. Ryle was described as having a commanding presence and vigorous in advocating his principles albeit with a warm disposition. He served as Bishop until his eighty-fourth year, where a general decline in health forced him to retire.