For J.C. Ryle (1816–1900) the question Shall We Know One Another? was a heartfelt inquiry of one who buried three wives. His first wife, Matilda, died after less than two years marriage, when he was thirty-one. Two-and-a-half years later, he married his second wife, Jessie, only to lay her in the grave within ten years. His third wife, Henrietta, died after twenty-seven years of holy matrimony, when he was seventy-two. Well could he write, “The closest relation on earth—the marriage bond—has an end.”
The Other Papers of this volume reveal both the narrow lens and broad scope of a biblical worldview. From planet Earth to Christian contentment, and from Nero’s household to words for women, a wide spectrum is considered—all grounded in holy Scripture—all centered in Christ.
About the Author
J. C. RYLE (1816–1900) 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.
The more I read Ryle, the more impressed I am with his ability to communicate God's Truth in a simple, straightforward and easy-to-understand manner. Shall We Know One Another is one of seven papers that Ryle writes each examining one interesting verse from Scripture that Ryle dives into and helps the reader understand its importance and significance. On a couple of occasions in this booklet, Ryle states that he is "one of those old-fashioned people who believe that every word of Scripture is given by inspiration of God; and that every verse if full of instruction." Ryle puts that conviction to the test by selecting seven rather obscure and seemingly irrelevant texts probably often overlooked by the average reader of Scripture. My favorite of the seven was paper number five titled Lessons from Nero's Household which examined a statement found in Philippians 4:22 that reads, "All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household."
The papers are short, but not shallow. In the first paper, from which we get the name of the book, examines the issue of whether Christians will know each other in heaven. Ryle also writes about the importance of a woman's role in the faith and the blessedness of learning contentment. This would be a great book for any student of Scripture not only to learn from, but also to be reminded that mining the treasures of God's Word takes patience, time, and a life-long commitment - there is always more treasure to be found, even in some of the verses that at first glance appear to be worthless.