J. C. Ryle

John Charles Ryle was born in the English town of Macclesfield, in the County of Cheshire, on the 10th of May, 1816. His education took him to the prestigious college at Eton, followed by time spent at the great University of Oxford. His conversion can be traced to a time when his own sinfulness, and the mercy of God was impressed upon him during the public reading, out loud, of Scripture, in a church that he had gone into. The verse that particularly gripped him was “By grace are ye saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” He was ordained into the Church of England ministry in December 1841, and having spent time serving God and people for 39 years, he was made the first Bishop of Liverpool in 1880. He was greatly loved, and many affectionately referred to him as “the working man’s Bishop.” He was a man of great conviction; Charles Haddon Spurgeon called him an “Evangelical Champion…One of the bravest and best of men.” His writings are so very topical, and to many it appears that they were only written yesterday, as they are so up-to-date. He died in February, 1900 and at his funeral “The graveyard was crowded with poor people who had come in carts and vans and buses to pay their last honours to the old man – who had certainly won their love.”