John Charles Ryle (1816-1900) graduated from Eton and Oxford and then pursued a career in politics, but due to lack of funds, he entered the clergy of the Church of England. He was a contemporary of Spurgeon, Moody, Mueller, and Taylor and read the great theologians like Wesley, Bunyan, Knox, Calvin, and Luther. These all influenced Ryle’s understanding and theology. Ryle began his writing career with a tract following the Great Yarmouth suspension bridge tragedy, where more than a hundred people drowned. He gained a reputation for straightforward preaching and evangelism. He travelled, preached, and wrote more than 300 pamphlets, tracts, and books, including Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Principles for Churchmen, and Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century. Ryle used the royalties from his writing to pay his father’s debts, but he also felt indebted to that ruin for changing the direction of his life. He was recommended by Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli to be Bishop of Liverpool where he ended his career in 1900.
I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
The decisions we make while young affect our future, both now and in eternity. This little book is a straightforward plea with young men to carefully consider their hearts and lives before the Lord, with practical advice offered to help young men be victorious in spiritual battle.