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4.39  ·  Rating details ·  5,162 ratings  ·  254 reviews
John Ryle had his beginnings at Oxford, where he was an athlete and first class student of the Greats. He was headed for a career in politics, but then was called to the ministry. This work is a study of holiness, or Christian perfection. Ryle works to debunk many of the popular beliefs of his day concerning holiness. Reviewers praise his balance of honest, tough-love mess ...more
Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published (first published 1877)
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Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,162 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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Natalie Vellacott
I thought it was about time I read this classic. It is practical and helpful.

Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable number of books that promote 'formulas' for living the Christian life have had their day on the Christian bestseller lists, only to fade away as time goes on. Yet J.C. Ryle's Holiness, which was first published 126 years ago, shows no signs of going out of style. What could possibly account for the longevity of a volume that Reformation & Revival Journal once called "the finest work on living the Christian life available"? I offer three reasons:

1) It gives no formulas. Bishop Ryle,
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ryle's work is a classic Reformed defense of the pursuit of sanctification as an active enterprise against various late 19th century denigrations of that understanding. He is, in a way, a Puritan out of place in history (and easier to read than John Owen). In Holiness, Ryle stands against extremes among the Reformed and Lutheran that claim sanctification is all about faith, but also against the holiness movements of his day, arising in part out of a misdirection of Wesley's understanding of imm ...more
Amy Ivey
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW!!! This book was written in the late 1800s, but it reads like it was written today!! Each chapter is a separate paper written by J.C. Ryle, some were sermons, all focused on SCRIPTURAL holiness. Ryle's discussions are beautifully simple and completely scripturally founded. He begins with chapters on sin, sanctification, holiness, then continues on to offer biblical examples of his points. His chapter on Moses clearly represents Moses as a type of Christ: Moses left the rank and greatness and ...more
Ethan Smith
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank the Lord for the wonderful man J. C. Ryle is.
It just got better and better every chapter, with the pinnacle being the last three chapters...
This book is a BANGER. ALL CAPS!
Tom Sussex
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will change your outlook on what it means to live a life worthy of the Gospel. Despite writing in 1877, Ryle speaks so clearly to the reader, and so insightfully into a society that has surprisingly changed very little.
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review available on Vintage Novels. ...more
Rachel Schultz
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First read (2013): loved
Second read (2019): still loved
Peter Jones
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book on a much neglected topic in our day. The first few chapters are particularly helpful. At times his too repetitive and could hurt tender consciences if he is read wrongly. But overall a great book on how to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Highly recommended.
This was a very interesting and life-giving read, but also challenging and convicting. It is incredibly accessible and easy to read. The book is comprised of distinct papers that are all related to the topic of holiness but do not necessarily follow one after the other, save the first three chapters. The first three chapters set up the main thesis of the entire work and essentially establishes why a person should care about holiness. I would summarize his main points like this: sanctification an ...more
Ben Hartman
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read. It took me a long time, but I finally finished it. Holiness constantly looks Christward, exhorting Christians in the living of a holy life. One of the most often quoted texts was Hebrews 12:14 "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." This seems to be a somewhat forgotten verse in our day. May we strive daily for greater holiness and conformity to Christ and His Word. ...more
Jonathan Klimek
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have You Read Holiness?

2021 Reads: 01/52
Rating: 5/5
Book: Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots
Author: J.C. Ryle

Holiness is a collection of 20 timeless papers written in 1879, together with an excellent introduction and a concluding chapter with extracts from older writers.

Doctor Martyn Lloyd-Jones described the book with these words: "Ryle, like his great masters [the Puritans], has no easy way to holiness to offer us, and no ‘patent’ method by which it can be obtained; bu
John Damon Davis
There is scarcely any other book that I would recommend more for exhortation on Christian living than this one. I simply cannot recommend it enough. The book, while not a dogmatic textbook is profoundly theologically robust. After having finished it, I am spiritually encouraged, theologically fortified, and more in love with Christ than when I started.

Despite being written around 150 years ago, it speaks into our lives and our day perhaps even more strongly than in his own. His language is prof
Luke Jaggers
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: immediate
Awesome book to finish the year on. Recommend to everyone.

Written 150 years ago with prowess and truthfulness, and still relevant in these times.

At our very best we are far worse than we ought to be. Having sinned against a perfectly just God, there is only one way to salvation, reconciliation, sanctification and life. That way is Jesus, who was pierced for our transgressions.

Christ is all. In Him are unsearchable riches.
Luke Hedmann
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A timeless classic that is still just as relevant today as it was when it was written.
Luke McEwen
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best Christian book I’ve ever read. 20 chapters, 20 different topics, 20 incredibly deep, thoughtful and scripturally based chapters that drew me closer to the Lord Jesus. Take your time reading this book to glean the riches that JC Ryle has placed into each chapter. 10/10 would recommend.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely essential read for all believers! Ryle’s stance on the importance of doctrine and insistence on a Biblical, Christ-centered Christianity are much needed in our culture of feelings and self-focused spirituality devoid of Biblical support that likes to call itself Christian.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot express how much I appreciate JC Ryle. His books are never easy to read and even though it takes me a while to get through his books, his writing never ceases to encourage me, rebuke me, make me love God deeper. This book is such a gem! I still have so much to process over. He writes to encourage us to strive for perfection, to seek holiness as God is holy. But knowing we are sinners, we will wrestle with the flesh, however we will forever have the Gospel as our assurance. Ryle saturate ...more
Michelle Griep
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For being a Victorian era book, this is surprisingly very readable and accessible to the contemporary palate. Holiness is a conglomeration of thoughts on what it is and how to attain it. As with most non-fiction books, here are some of my favorite quotes:

"Arise and come to Christ just as you are. He waits for you, and is as willing to save as He is mighty."

"Death works no change. The grave makes no alteration. Each will rise again with the same character in which he breathed his last."

"And no ma
Oct 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
This review so far refers only to chapter VII "Assurance" (pp. 143-181):

Another reading with me doing plenty of underlining throughout. One line of truth even had me updating my Facebook profile quotations since I resonated with it so much.

Reading this chapter wasn't all roses for me, however. I felt that I didn't share the experience he described as so common among Christian believers (a lack of "assurance") but by the end of the chapter I was chalking it up to cultural differences and semanti
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, Excellent book!

I believe that a lack of passion for personal holiness is probably one of the saddest aspects of 21st century Christianity. In our effort to move away from legalism, we have given way to lechery, and we have emphasized God's love and forgiveness so much that most of us have no clue what the verse "Strive...for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14) means. This book helps you understand what that verse means biblically.

A generation that is
Ryan Trzeciak
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“It is impossible that ever you should be happy, except you are holy” (395).

Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool in the 1800s, was writing against revivalism, the effort to get crowds worked up in Christian emotionalism that had little to no lasting change or effect once the crowd was dispersed. Ryle’’s desire was to show that true Christianity and genuine holiness was expressed and advanced through the day to day activity of walking with Christ through the highs and lows of life. A common theme throughou
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This has been a book that I have slowly read for the past 2 years. It's not a fast read by any means, but the writing is mostly clear. Some parts I connected with better than others. It was originally written as a series of papers, so it felt like 20 separate thoughts on holiness. However, this is a book that deserves to be read by every Christian today. ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the providence of God, it has taken me 10 years to read Holiness. The Lord saw fit why it would take me this long.

This is the classic on sanctification and the Christian life. There are many other books that are helpful, but Ryle is in a class of his own. You must read it- read it slowly and savor it- and be changed as he points you to Christ. "Christ is all."
Christian Barrett
This is my second time reading this amazing book, and it truly one of my favorites. Ryle cuts the heart as he challenges his readers to be holy. This challenge ultimately comes from a place of loving Jesus Christ more. This book was written nearly 200 years ago and still holds water today. I can’t encourage Christians enough to read this book, and I seek to read it almost every year.
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A 400+ page classic we have read aloud at least three times. These sermons will stir you, convict you, assure you. Ryle's plain prose is always Scriptural and straight from the heart. Hard to pick a favorite, but it's hard to top the last chapter, "Christ is All." Simple yet deep. ...more
I really love the discussion over how much of the confusion regarding the pursuit of holiness is really confusion over participation in sanctification vs. justification.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I love the way Ryle teaches. I learned so much.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Ryle’s style is a shade pompous for my taste, but he does pack a lot of richness in these pages. Here are a few quotes that leapt out at me.

A religion which costs nothing is worth nothing.

I wish to be as broad as the Bible, neither less nor more.

On sin:

Dim or indistinct views of sin are the origin of most of the errors, heresies, and false doctrines of the present day.

The more real grace men have in their hearts, the deeper is their sense of sin.

On death & resurrection:

Nothing, I am convinc
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my unofficial 2019 goals that has been met.

In the classic book "Celebration of Discipline" - the chapter on reading challenges us to read books that are not of our century, which means no cheating and claiming 20th century books are not of our century for me at least as I was born in 1972.

This classic was written way back, when followers of Islam were referred to as Turks. The updated text makes for a clear read. Whilst I was expecting some heavy duty puritan exegesis which did f
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John Charles Ryle was a prominent writer, preacher, and Anglican clergyman in nineteenth-century Britain. He is the author of the classic Expository Thoughts on the Gospels and retired as the bishop of Liverpool.

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“A true Christian is one who has not only peace of conscience, but war within. He may be known by his warfare as well as by his peace.” 43 likes
“Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God's judgment, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word.” 28 likes
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