I recently came across a work by J.C. Ryle titled Boys and Girls Playing and other addresses to children, and my family enjoyed reading through the first sermon together. Ryle’s exposition was based upon Zechariah 8:5, and of note was his simple but profound statement: “Boys and girls, remember this first great lesson. God takes notice of you. Mind that you take notice of God.” I am always looking for good resources to use in family devotions along with the Bible, and I am thankful to have found another good source directed to children of a younger age. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels was explicitly written to aid families with family devotional material, and we have profited from them as well in the past.
I have been a fan of J.C. Ryle ever since I read his little booklet about the Word of God called “How Readest Thou?” J.I. Packer has a helpful brief biography combined with Ryle’s well-known work Holiness. The full title is Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J.C. Ryle. The best biography I know of about Ryle is titled That Man of Granite with the Heart of a Child by Eric Russell. It is a must read for those interested in the life of this godly expositor. He describes Ryle’s wealthy upbringing, his conversion, his university years, the financial collapse of his father’s business, and his places and years of ministry.
Ryle has been called the “great tractarian” because of the number of tracts (short sermon-like works) he wrote in his career. Sometimes he would take messages he had preached in written form to people who did not attend his services! Quite a few of Ryle’s tracts and other writings are available for free on the internet. Many of his works can be found for free on Google Books, and his works are frequently reprinted. Links to Ryle’s works can be found at http://jcrylequotes.com/.