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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF J.C. RYLE
JOHN CHARLES RYLE

This J.C Ryle 13 volume cloth-bound set from Banner of Truth is an incredible resource not only for pastors but also for those who want to grow in spiritual maturity. Ryle is very practical and easy to read. He writes in a way in which you are confronted with the truth about your sin and yet also reminded of the comforts of the gospel. I have given some small reviews of each book below. As I have mentioned in other posts before, the quality of these cloth-bound books is amazing! They will last a lifetime even if you use them heavily. You can buy these books separately or as a complete set.

In 1837, John Charles Ryle was an outstanding athlete, excelling in cricket and rowing. But, when he became ill with a serious infection, he turned to his long-forgotten Bible and prayed. Then, one Sunday at church, he felt as though God was speaking to him, emphasizing the message that people are saved by grace through faith, which is a gift from God. Ryle ultimately entered the ministry in the Church of England, while also publishing popular tracts and books from a Biblical standpoint. J.C. Ryle’s Holiness is perhaps his best known book, describing the nature of holiness and the challenges of temptation, while Call to Prayer shares with readers the privileges of private prayer. J.C. Ryle’s Thoughts for Young Men offers up what one reviewer calls “true Puritan theology,” while Agency That Transformed a Nation shares timeless lessons gleaned from the 18-century Great Awakening.

EXPOSITORY THOUGHTS ON THE GOSPELS

For anyone studying or preaching on the Gospels, this has to be one of your go-to sets. Ryle’s commentary is very pastoral and full of practical application. Each section is laid out with the Scripture text, Ryle's pastoral commentary, and then his verse commentary. I normally tend to use exegetical, verse by verse commentaries in my sermon prep, which has led to my preaching being somewhat of a running commentary (which is not good). These pastoral commentaries by Ryle have provided balance in my study and sermon prep.

"J. C.Ryle's 'Expository Thoughts on the Gospels' gleans practical thoughts from every section of the four Gospels. I know of no set of books that is more helpful for private devotions and family worship. We read through Ryle's books when our children were in elementary school. A ten-year-old can understand Ryle, and an eighty-year-old saint is not beyond him; Ryle models simplicity and profundity to all. Ryle's thoughts are also invaluable for ministers and teachers, as they model how to glean applications from the text. Here is practical Christianity at its best." --Dr. Joel R. Beeke, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids

This is Bishop Ryle at his very best!

HOLINESS

I believe it is important to go back and read classic Christian works such as Holiness to be reminded that the struggles that we are facing in our own lives and in the church are not new. For Christians, it has always been a struggle to live holy lives. Ryle’s Holiness helps us to be reminded that even though it's hard and may not be the most popular thing, we must be holy, because the voice of God in Scripture plainly commands it, it is one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world, because this is the only sound evidence that we have a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, because this is the only proof that we love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, because this is the only sound evidence that we are true children of God, because this is the most likely way to do good to others, because our present comfort depends much upon it, because without holiness on earth we will never be prepared to enjoy heaven.

OLD PATHS

Old Paths is a work by Ryle that explains truths that are ‘necessary to salvation.’ Ryle chose the title to emphasize that he is not presenting anything new but reaffirming the doctrines laid out and believed by the Apostolic Christians and the reformers.

It’s a fairly repetitive book since the chapters at one point were separate papers, but Ryle informs you in the Preface. It touches on forgiveness, justification, the cross, faith, repentance, election, perseverance, etc. There is a huge need for all of us to be reminded of these truths and Ryle presents them in a very reasonable and practical way. “If people may be saved without knowing anything about these truths, it appears to me that we may throw away our Bibles altogether, and proclaim that the Christian religion is of no use.”

PRACTICAL RELIGION

Looking for a book about how to live as a Christian? Look no further. Ryle presents how to practically live out the Christian life in this great work. Instead of living a works-based religion, he lays out how to live in the grace given to us by Christ. Ryle’s focus is to help you understand that it is not the actual acts you do, but that God has your heart. His chapter on The World was very impactful to me giving very helpful wisdom on how the world is a danger, what is not meant by separation from the world, what real or true separation from the world is, and the secret victory over the world. Through this work, Ryle helps you learn to care for our souls, see our great need for Christ, and live in a way that is not fake, legalistic, or dead.

The time is fast coming when nothing but authenticity will stand the fire. Authentic repentance towards God--authentic faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ--authentic holiness of heart and life--these, these are the things which will alone stand the judgment at the last day. It is a solemn saying of our Lord Jesus Christ, "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matthew 7:22-23)

LIGHT FROM OLD TIMES

Light from Old Times is basically short biographies/testimonies of some reformers and puritans written by Ryle. There is such a change happening in the millennial generation that have adopted reformed theology. You can see many young people with Spurgeon and Bunyan t-shirts, Calvin coffee mugs and moleskines. But do they know who is on their t-shirt? This is a great book that introduces spiritual giants such as John Wycliffe, John Rogers, Samuel Ward, and Richard Baxter.

KNOTS UNTIED

This work by Ryle is on how the church should operate. It includes 19 papers on specific subjects relating to the evangelical church practices. Keep in mind when Ryle uses the word evangelical, he means Biblical, unlike the way we tend to think and use the word today. He lays out the beliefs held by Evangelical Churchmen of the day. His arguments are filled with Scriptural proof and explained very carefully and confidently. Some topics include Baptism, Regeneration, The Lord’s Supper, Confession, the Fallibility of Ministers, Idolatry, etc.

Let us always beware of any teaching which either directly or indirectly obscures justification by faith. All religious systems which put anything between the heavy laden sinner and Jesus Christ the Savior, except simple faith, are dangerous and unscriptural. All systems which make out faith to be anything complicated, anything but a simple, childlike dependence — the hand which receives the soul’s medicine from the physician — are unsafe and poisonous systems. All systems which cast discredit on the simple Protestant doctrine which broke the power of Rome, carry about with them a plague-spot, and are dangerous to souls.

Let us remember, not least, the enormous injury we may do to souls if we once allow ourselves to depart in the least degree from the simplicity of the gospel, either in our doctrine or in our worship. Who can estimate the shipwrecks that might occur in a single night, and the lives that might be lost, if a light-house keeper dared to alter but a little the color of his light? Who can estimate the deaths that might take place in a town if the chemist took on himself to depart but a little from the doctor’s prescriptions? Who can estimate the wholesale misery that might be caused in a war, by maps a little wrong, and charts a little incorrect? Who can estimate these things? Then perhaps you may have some idea of the spiritual harm that ministers do by departing in the slightest degree from the Scriptural proportions of the gospel, or by trying to catch the world by dressing the simple old Evangelical faith in new clothes.

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 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.

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EXPOSITORY THOUGHTS ON THE GOSPELS (in 7 Volumes)
SGCB Price: $102.00 (list price $139.00)
Matthew & Mark (1 vol each); Luke (2 vols); John (3 vols) - 2400 PENETRATING PAGES

HOLINESS: ITS NATURE, HINDRANCES, DIFFICULTIES, AND ROOTS
SGCB Price: $21.50 (list price $29.00)
480 PAGE CLASSIC - PERHAPS THE MOST FAMOUS AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL HIS WORKS

OLD PATHS: BEING PLAIN STATEMENTS ON SOME OF THE WEIGHTIER MATTERS OF CHRISTIANITY
SGCB Price: $21.56 (list price $29.00)
508 PAGE HARDCOVER VOLUME

PRACTICAL RELIGION: BEING PLAIN PAPERS ON THE DUTIES, EXPERIENCE, DANGERS, AND PRIVILEGES OF PROFESSING CHRISTIANS
SGCB Price: $21.50 (list price $29.00)
473 PAGE HARDCOVER VOLUME

LIGHT FROM OLD TIMES
SGCB Price: $21.50 (list price $29.00)
437 PAGE HARDCOVER VOLUME

KNOTS UNTIED: BEING PLAIN STATEMENTS ON DISPUTED POINTS IN RELIGION, FROM THE STANDPOINT OF AN EVANGELICAL CHURCHMAN
SGCB Price: $21.50 (list price $29.00)
488 PAGE HARDCOVER VOLUME

CHRISTIAN LEADERS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
SGCB Price: $21.50 (list price $29.00)
424 PAGE HARDCOVER VOLUME

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SGCB Price: $208.95 (list price $313.00)
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