Friday, April 11, 2008

Matthew Henry

While in the United Kingdom several years ago, I read that the great Bible commentator Matthew Henry pastored in Chester, England, a town about an hour from where we stayed in Wales. After ministering for 25 years there, he pastored in London, but years later in 1714, on a preaching visit to Chester, he died. Matthew Henry’s last words to a friend, “A life spent in the service of God, and communion with Him, is the most comforting and pleasant life that anyone can live in this world.” I asked a friend if he knew where Matthew Henry lived in Chester and where he was buried. In an old book, we discovered he was buried at Trinity Church near Crook Street. The next day, my wife, Margaret, and I went by train to Chester and found Crook Street and Trinity Church. The church was rebuilt in the 1800’s and is now a run-down museum. Matthew Henry’s grave is no more, but his ministry lives on in his commentaries and other writings, all of which glorify the Savior. One of my favorite quotes of his is: “The faithful ministers of Christ are to dispense God’s sacred truths, however disagreeable they may be to some, and whatever they themselves may suffer for doing so.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Bible is six volumes. The Evangelist of the Great Awakening, George Whitefield, is reported to have read through the commentaries four times, mostly on his knees!

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