J.C. Ryle & Liverpool Cathedral

I visited Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral this month. Although there was an information board explaining what a Christian is, there’s little else there that explains the gospel. The scarlet-robed guides know all sorts about their building, but they prove somewhat reticent when explaining something far more impressive- God’s free grace. There was even a statue of Mary kneeling, before which supplicants might light candles. Amid all this flummery is found a memorial to a great man, John Ryle, Liverpool’s first Anglican bishop. The current prelate, while claiming to be evangelical, publicly embraces same-sex relationships, stating "I've learned to respect the experiences of people who want to celebrate and express their sexuality”. It’s a good job that Bishop Ryle, that mighty man of God, has only a memorial in the cathedral rather that his grave; I fear his turning would result in that huge edifice’s violent and sudden collapse.


But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice.


From J.C. Ryle: Warnings to the Churches:

“Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their ‘earnestness’ (to use an unhappy cant phrase) makes many think they must be right. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heartwork. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly, and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan is often ‘transformed into an angel of light.’ (2 Corinthians 2:14) There is a wide-spread ‘gullibility’ among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man. All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing man to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, ‘Be not carried about.’”