As eldest son and heir to a fortune, J.C. Ryle had a hopeful future until the day his father declared bankruptcy. In a single moment, he was stripped of everything--land, title, wealth, security--and life as he knew it no longer existed. Ryle was devastated. And yet, had this not happened, Ryle would likely have entered Parliament rather than becoming a clergyman, and he might never have written a single book or tract or sermon, or become one of the most influential evangelical leaders of the 19th century. What could have broken Ryle beyond despair became the very instrument that led him towards holiness. Here in a single volume are not only J. I. Packer's reflections on the life of John Charles Ryle, but the very words of Ryle himself in a reprint of his classic work, Holiness. We see the faith that encouraged him through his difficulties. The hope that gave him a future. The God who blessed Ryle more than he ever imagined possible. And we are encouraged that the very God who worked a miracle in Ryle's life is the same One who works in us, leading us to holiness.
Author J.I. Packer is currently a professor of theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has authored the classic bestseller Knowing God, as well as a number of other titles. Most recently, he served as General Editor for the English Standard Version Bible, published by Crossway Bibles.