Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century
Although much has been written on the evangelical revival of the 18th century, J C Ryle's Christian Leaders of the 18th Century remains the best popular introduction to this great spiritual era. With simplicity and vigour, he traces the lives...
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Although much has been written on the evangelical revival of the 18th century, J C Ryle's Christian Leaders of the 18th Century remains the best popular introduction to this great spiritual era. With simplicity and vigour, he traces the lives of the eleven Christian leaders who 'shook England from one end to another', giving strong reasons for his belief "that excepting Luther and his Continental contemporaries, and our own martyred Reformers, the world has seen no such men since the days of the apostles."
But Ryle does not write to prompt admiration, and his conclusions and applications of his subject are among the most forceful that ever came from his pen. "I am obliged to say plainly that, in my judgment, we have among us neither the men nor the doctrines of the days gone by ... Once let the evangelical ministry return to the ways of the 18th century, and I firmly believe we should have as much success as before. We are where we are, because we have come short of our fathers."
At the beginning of last century, Canon A M W Christopher of St Aldate's, Oxford, declared that he had turned to Ryle's book during every summer vacation for thirty years. It is time Christian Leaders of the 18th Century was so read again.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Author's Preface vii
1 The religious and moral condition of England at the beginning of the eighteenth century 1
2 The agency by which Christianity was revived in England in the middle of the eighteenth century 11
3 George Whitefield 19
4 John Wesley 51
5 William Grimshaw 91
6 William Romaine 135
7 Daniel Rowland 165
8 John Berridge 199
9 Henry Venn 237
10 Samuel Walker 287
11 James Hervey 309
12 Augustus Toplady 337
13 John Fletcher 363
R C Ryle (1816-1900) was appointed as the first Bishop of Liverpool in 1880 and was the leader of the Evangelical wing of the Church of England for more than half a century. His written works have remained in demand for well over a century, being highly valued for their clear and lively style. Ryle wrote on a wide range of themes, and his teachings, both practical and spiritual, remain as fresh and relevant today as when he first wrote them down.