Light From Old Times
The nineteenth century was an age that witnessed great progress in many areas of exploration and learning. However, according to J.C. Ryle, it was an age of great ignorance too. 'With all the stir made about education', he wryly observed,...
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The nineteenth century was an age that witnessed great progress in many areas of exploration and learning. However, according to J.C. Ryle, it was an age of great ignorance too. 'With all the stir made about education', he wryly observed, 'the ignorance of our own country's history is something lamentable and appalling and depressing.' What particularly distressed Ryle was the scant knowledge of the English Reformation evident amongst his contemporaries. In this lay a grace danger: one of the reasons so many congregations drift form their evangelical foundations is their sheer ignorance of Christian history, and their lack of understanding of the major doctrinal controversies and why they matter.
Ryle's abiding hope for Light From Old Times is that our souls will be stirred to prayer and action by the great testimonies of Reformers and Puritans found within its pages, and then that we will dig deeper into the writings of these spiritual giants.
John Charles Ryle (1816-1900) was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool. Ryle was born at Macclesfield, and was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he was Craven Scholar in 1836. 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). However before taking the latter office, he was advanced to the new see of Liverpool, where he remained until his resignation, which took place three months before his death