There is a golden thread that runs through the Bible which can sometimes go unnoticed by some. It involves this road that we travel on. For all God’s children of all generations, the walk of faith that we are engaged in does not occur in a vacuum, rather it occurs in an onward and upward motion, spiritually speaking. We often forget the fact that this road that we are on is marked by the grinding footprints and cross-dragging induced furrows of many saints who before us have had to travel the same road on their way to glory (Matt. 7:13-14). This is a walk that has been attempted and completed by many of the Lord’s dear followers of old. There is therefore much that we can learn from the pages of church history, in particular from Christian biography (Prov. 13:20). As Paul instructed the Corinthians, we would be wise to imitate them too, as we diligently imitate the Lord (1 Cor. 11:1).
One such saint that deserves recognition at this juncture is a man by the name of John Charles, or J.C. Ryle. The son of a wealthy banker, Ryle was born in the town of Macclesfield within the region of Cheshire, England, on 10 May, 1816. Like many other boys he took a liking in different kinds of sports during his teenage years, but especially excelled at the activities of rowing and the game of cricket. After his transfer to Christ Church, Oxford in 1834, his cricket playing career reached its crescendo in an 1836 Varsity match at Lords, when he took no less than 10 wickets in a bowling effort, sealing the match for Oxford.
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