Mr Ryle was the first bishop of Liverpool. And a very sensible man. He said such inifinitely wise things as: ‘But it is useless ot expect attachment ot the local parish church, when the local minister is ignorant of the gospel or a lover of the world. In such a case we must never be surprised if men forsake their local parish church, and seek truth wherever truth is to be found.’ Wise words. However, writing in the nineteenth century, he could not have foreseen a time when such churches still had people in them despite the gospel not having been preached in living memory. He could not therefore have foreseen a time when the membership of some churches was predominantly made up by people who show all the signs of not being saved.
It’s a great book, but you could argue it’s out of date. A lot of the things he was warning the churches about has already happened. Still, Mr Ryle is a top chap.