The nineteenth century was an age that witnessed great progress in many areas of exploration and learning. However, according to J.C. Ryle, it was an age of great ignorance too. 'With all the stir made about education', he wryly observed, 'the ignorance of our own country's history is something lamentable and appalling and depressing.' What particularly distressed Ryle was the scant knowledge of the English Reformation evident amongst his contemporaries. In this lay a grace danger: one of the reasons so many congregations drift form their evangelical foundations is their sheer ignorance of Christian history, and their lack of understanding of the major doctrinal controversies and why they matter. Therefore he taught that one of the best ways to stop Christians wavering 'with every changing wind of doctrine' (Eph. 4:14) is to instill in them a deep love for Reformation and Puritan teaching, and a willingness to suffer for those gospel truths.
Light From Old Times