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Monday, July 25, 2016

J.C. Ryle - Prepared To Stand Alone • Book Review, Chapters 1-7

Since I had mentioned that I planned to read the book Iain Murray did, I've decided to do a review on the parts I have read up to this point.   I probably have only read about halfway through at this point.
Book Title:
J.C. Ryle
Prepared To Stand Alone
Book by Iain Murray

My personal summary of the first few chapters:

J.C. Ryle went from being a son of a well-to-do banker to a struggling minister, reportedly paying off money his father owed after one of his father's banks failed under mismanagement by someone else.

Before the bank failure, J.C. went to university, and he did very well, though perhaps he did not try as hard as he could have for a part of the time.

J.C. eventually became a Christian, and it seems that God used various people and His Word to draw Ryle to Himself.
When Ryle became a Christian, his family and friends were not happy with him.
He worked a bit in the bank, I think, and then he was working toward going into law, but eventually he was called to be a minister.
Since the money was needed after the bank failure, it seemed to be a good choice to accept the call.

Ryle visited people and cared for the flock, and he read and taught, though it's not like many pastors of today who went through seminary training first (though not all do today either).
Yet, it seems J.C. did actually learn some positive things at university or college that were helpful, though some at the school were going astray into left field around or after that time.

J.C. seemed to have some recurring health issues, which had some effect on his life and ministry.
He ended up going to a new church where he would receive more income, and he was able to meet a lady who must have seemed spiritual enough to be of interest, and he married her.  
I'm sure that the extra money was helpful both for paying his father's debt and to be able to afford a wife and family as well.

Sadly, his young wife died of ill health, but they did have a baby daughter before she passed on.
He married again later, and his second wife struggled with her health, and after a number of children, and disabling health for a number of years, she also died.
This was a very hard time for J.C.

Ryle was able to write a lot of tracts or booklets during the time he was at this second church, and he had some servants and relatives (not sure if they were his or his wife's relatives) living at the house, which I imagine helped him some in his taking care of the children (that is my thought anyway).

Now, as to my thoughts of the book at the point where I am currently:

Today I finished Chapter 7 of the book on J.C. Ryle.
Actually, a lot of the book is what Ryle wrote himself.
The book is not only biographical, but it goes over the history of some of the theological controversies and adversity that went on in Ryle's time.
The last part of Chapter 7 talks about Ryle's reading of and defense of the Puritans.
Certainly this book gets me more interested in looking at even more of what Ryle wrote in addition to what I have already read, and also, to be curious about some of the Puritans he read.

I would love it if one of my friends would do a blog post  for me that would be a very short biography or summary of the teachings of some of these Puritans.  Thomas Manton, or any of the others you really like.... Hint. Hint.

So, for all my bookworm friends (who did not already read it), you might just want to read this book about J.C. Ryle to find out all that I have left out!

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