The son of a wealthy banker, John Charles (J. C.) Ryle (1816-1900) was educated at Eton and Oxford, destined for a career in politics. But after being spiritually awakened in 1838 by a reading of Ephesians 2, he answered a call to ministry. He was ordained by Bishop Sumner at Winchester in 1842. After holding a curacy at Exbury in Hampshire, he became rector of St. Thomas’s, Winchester; rector of Helmingham, Suffolk; vicar of Stradbroke; honorary canon of Norwich; and dean of Salisbury. In 1880, he became the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool, at prime minister’s recommendation. He retired in 1900 at the age of eighty-three and died later the same year. Ryle was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of ritualism. Among his longer works are Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 volumes), and Principles for Churchmen.
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