The strong convictions of J. C. Ryle are clearly expressed in this address to a group of fellow ministers. He stresses how important it is for those who would be ministers to "give ourselves wholly to these things." Following which he lays out, in his own outspoken style what "these things" are.
He expounds upon the example that the minister must set, and how he needs to be "the same outside the pulpit as in it," and "be every inch the minister of Jesus Christ."
He calls for "entire devotion to the great work" to which each was ordained.
He stresses that for such as are called to be ministers, there should be a "thorough separation from the world."
In each there needed to be a "jealous watchfulness over his social conduct", and a "diligent redemption of time."
The consequence of all this will not necessarily win the minister the "praise of men", but it will attain the far more important end of "usefulness to souls."It will also bring happiness and "peace to our conscience."
He closes by saying that "the more we have the mind of Christ, the more we shall understand what it is to 'give ourselves wholly to these things'."
John Charles Ryle was born in the English town of Macclesfield, in the County of Cheshire, on the 10th of May, 1816. His education took him to the prestigious college at Eton, followed by time spent at the great University of Oxford. His conversion can be traced to a time when his own...