CHRISTIAN LEADERS. OF ENGLAND. In the Eighteenth Century. BY. JOHN CHARLES RYLE, D.D.. (First Bishop of Liverpool, ). Jiuthor of. J C Ryle’s classic book traces the lives of the eleven Christian leaders who ‘ shook England from one end to another’. Christian Leaders of the Last Century (18th). by. J. C. Ryle () It is a fact that no British preacher of the last century kept together in one district such.
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This year,was beyond doubt the turning-point in Wesley’s spiritual history, and gave a direction to all his subsequent life.
What were their peculiar characteristics? CHAPTER 1 One of the greatest spiritual champions of the last century whom I wish to introduce to my readers in this chapter, is one who is very little known. But it is impossible to mistake certain peculiarities in style, which stand forth prominently in everything, which comes from the great Welsh apostle’s mind. He says himself, in his description of the event, “When they brought me to the house where my father was, he cried out, ‘Come, neighbours, let us kneel down I let us give thanks to God!
Of such a man as this I cannot pretend to give more than a brief account in the short space of a few pages. Tradition records that he was a diligent student all his life, and spent a great deal of time in the preparation of his sermons. No longer persecuted and snubbed by ecclesiastical superiors, he held on his way for twenty-seven years in great quietness, undiminished popularity, and immense usefulness, and died at length in Liangeitho rectory on October the I6th,at the ripe old age of seventy-seven.
It would be strange indeed if his name was not well known. The vast majority of sermon-hearers do not want fine words, close reasoning, deep philosophy, metaphysical abstractions, nice distinctions, elaborate composition, profound learning. He was not nearly so much an itinerant as many of his contemporaries.
On this occasion his appearance, as he stood in the crowd before the pulpit, is said to have been so full of vanity, conceit, and levity, that Mr. No They think they are carrying on their own work of destroying you, as it is said of the Assyrian whom the Lord sent to punish a hypocritical nation, ‘Howbeit, he meaneth not so;’ yet it was God’s work that he was carrying on, though he did not intend to do so.
No man knows how much can be done in twelve hours until he tries. Parables founded on subjects familiar to the humblest intellect, terse, broad, sententious statements, were the staple of our Lord Jesus Christ’s preaching. His private life was as holy, blameless, and consistent, as the life of a Christian can be.
Is it a wanton and adulterous heart, which may as soon be satisfied as the sea can be filled with gold? For it is not enough to say all men are sick of sin: Whitefield was thought to equal him; but even Whitefield was not thought to surpass him.
Christian Leaders of the Last Century (18th) — J. C. Ryle
One who went to hear him every month from Carnarvonshire, gives a striking rjle of his singular fervour when Rowlands was preaching on John III. Often–far too often–he was preached against and held up to scorn by the parochial clergy, as a heretic, a mischief maker, and a meddling troubler of Israel. Art thou tempted to idolatry?
Finding they could not understand him, he paused a little, and then with all his remaining strength cried out, “The best of all is, God is with us;” and soon after, lifting up his dying voice in token of victory, and raising his feeble arm with a holy triumph, be again repeated the heart-reviving words, “The best of all is, God is with us.
None but he who raised us from the dust of the earth.
The Christian leaders of England in the eighteenth century
The smith first puts the iron into the fire, and then blows the bellows softly, making some inquiries respecting the work to be done, while his eye all the time chrustian fixed steadily on the process of heating the iron in the fire. In this respect I think he excelled all his contemporaries.
Gifted beyond most men with bodily and mental qualifications for the work of the pulpit, ny began to consecrate himself wholly to it, and threw himself, body, and soul, and mind, into his sermons. IIor to doubt the possibility of any one’s conversion.
I do not pretend either to explain the charge away, or to defend his objectionable opinions. He refused the request of the woman of Canaan for a while, but afterwards she obtained her desire. The men about whom I am writing were all men of that stamp. Does it apply truth? Ryle and the subjects of the book all preach the Gospel.
The effect on the people was wonderful; you could see nothing but smiles and tears running down the face of all. However, before the time arrived, a good man providentially discovered the whole plot, and brought it to nothing. This, however, is easily accounted for.
The weary wheels of life at length stood still, and he died of no disease but sheer old age. To be angry without sinning. He abounds in short, terse, pithy, epigrammatic, proverbial sentences, of that kind which arrests the attention and sticks in the memory of hearers. I did not know that my feet were on the ground; yea, I had no idea where I was, tyle on earth or in heaven.
They were cebtury the “Methodists” or Holy Club,” and assailed with a storm of ridicule and abuse. But wherever he may have got cheistian learning, there is no doubt that he possessed it, and knew how to make use of it in his sermons.
Whitefield everywhere insisted on; and may they not be summed up, as it were, in two words–‘ the new birth, and justification by faith? Have you the witness within yourself?