A collection of four hundred hymns, some meant for congregational use, and some, because of their experimental form or meter, meant for private study. In selecting the hymns, J. C. Ryle aimed to bridge the divide between different variations of the Christian faith. “It is a pleasant thought,” he writes, “that however much Christians may disagree in pulpits, on platforms, and in prose writing, they are generally of one heart and one mind, in praise and prayer.”
J. C. Ryle (1816–1900) was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he was a Craven Scholar. He was ordained in 1841, and became the first bishop of Liverpool in 1880. Ryle was a prolific writer his entire life, publishing dozens of bestsellers that were translated into many languages.