A man may be a very ignorant man and yet be saved. He may be unable to read a word, or write a letter. He may know nothing of geography beyond the bounds of his own parish, and be entirely unable to say which is nearest, Paris or New York. He may know nothing of Arithmetic and not see any difference between a million and a thousand. He may know nothing of history, not even of his own land, and be quite ignorant whether his country owes most to Semiramis, Boadicea or Queen Elizabeth. He may know nothing of the affairs of his own times, and be incapable of telling you whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Commander-in­-Chief, or the Archbishop of Canterbury is managing the national finances. He may know nothing of science and its discoveries—and whether Julius Caesar won his victories with gunpowder, or the Apostles had a printing press or the sun goes round the earth, may be matters about which he had not an idea. And yet, if that very man has heard Bible truth with his ears, and believed it with his heart, he knows enough to save his soul.

—J. C. Ryle, Tract: On the Opening of the Present Year (1853)