J C Ryle

J C Ryle

Prepared to stand alone

Iain Murray

Over 200 years after his birth, this biography looks at the life and legacy of J C Ryle.

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The life of J.C. Ryle has only to be heard once to be remembered. His 84 years (1816-1900) included remarkable contrasts - the promise of a fortune, then the poverty of a bankrupt; a Suffolk country pastor, then bishop of the leading seaport of the British Empire. But there was a still greater change - from the successful youth at Eton and Oxford, who did not pray or read his Bible till he was 21, to become a Christian 'bold as a lion for the truth of God's Word and his Gospel'.

Although one of the most widely read evangelical authors of the nineteenth century, Ryle's writings lost influence after his death. The world had moved on, as was supposed. Then, fifty years later a 'rediscovery' began. Research on his life was accomplished by able authors, and from a new wealth of material Iain Murray has put together a compelling biography. Ryle believed in definite doctrine, in a message which does not adjust to the times, in revival, and in the living Christ. He knew that all the great turning points of church history have been attended with controversy, and that 'there are times when controversy is not only a duty but a benefit'.

J.C. Ryle's life is convincing evidence that Christianity stands or falls depending on its relation to the word of God and to the Holy Spirit. That he is being read widely again at the present time gives hope of better days.

Product details


  • Introduction
  • Schooldays
  • 'The Greatest Change and Event in My Life'
  • Church and Homes Divided
  • All Doors Shut Except One
  • Peace Disturbed in Hampshire
  • Rural Suffolk: Stepping-Stone to the World
  • Puritans at Helmingham Rectory
  • Stradbroke: Twenty Fruitful Years
  • The Teacher
  • Liverpool
  • Standing Firm under Darkening Skies
  • The Last Years
  • What Does Ryle Say for Today?
  • Appendix 1 Extracts from Ryle
  • Appendix 2 Herbert E Ryle
  • Index


Author Iain Murray
ISBN 9781848716797
Format Paperback
First published June 2016
Dimensions 136mm x 215mm x 18mm
Language English
Pages 275
Publisher Banner of Truth
Independent reviews

Prepared to Stand Alone - J C Ryle

Alan Wells, The Gospel Coalition, September 1st 2016

This is an engrossing account of one of the giants of the nineteenth century church. If read by those who are strangers to Ryle, it should, hopefully, wet their appetite to pick up one of his books.... continue reading

Challenge for Today's Bishops

Wallace Benn, Evangelicals Now, August 1st 2016

This is a book every minister should read. Ryle had the common touch and despite lots of opposition was loved by ordinary people and was a champion of a robust Protestant Reformed Evangelicalism. He warned against the danger of ministers not knowing their people and was often in the homes of his parishioners.... continue reading

"excellent introduction to the famed Anglican bishop’s life and work"

Ben Rogers, The Gospel Coalition, May 10th 2016

Murray’s work is an excellent introduction to the famed Anglican bishop’s life and work. It’s ideal for those generally unfamiliar with the man and his times. And those who know him well will appreciate Murray’s unique emphases, contextual sensitivity, and focus on the man.

J. C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone is a welcome addition to the all-too-short list of Ryle biographies, and a fitting tribute to the First Bishop of Liverpool on his 200th birthday.... continue reading

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J C Ryle | Iain Murray | £8.50 £6.79