John Charles (J.C.) Ryle (1816-1900) was the Anglican bishop of Liverpool, England in the last twenty years of his life. In the early 1880s he became concerned with the holiness teaching of a deeper life in the Keswick revivals. This book was his reponse to that teaching and has found kinship in the orthodox doctrines of holiness and sanctification. Ryle’s first edition was in 1877, expanded in 1879, and was later reprinted in 1952 with Martyn Lloyd-Jones writing the forward. That edition (which I hold in my hand) retained the original twenty chapters. In 2010 Moody Publishers reprinted the book again in an abridged edition with nine chapters and with John MacArthur writing the forward. I have that edition also.
The reader will find encouragement in holy living in many ways. Ryle’s typical Calvinism will seldom come through along with, what we might call today, lordship salvation. These, however, are small sidelines to his view of holiness. Ryle often reiterates his belief in a one-time, immediate acceptance of Christ by faith which will be followed by a holy life in true believers. I would still call Ryle’s Holiness one of the ten most important books on Christian living.