Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry (1662–1714) was so sick and frail when he was born that he was not expected to live even a week. But God preserved the life of this little baby who would grow up to do great things for Him. Matthew continued to be physically weak as a child, but mentally, he grew stronger and stronger. At three years of age, he is said to have read aloud a chapter from the Bible. Indeed, his love for the Bible must have begun at an early age. His parents’ Welsh farmhouse was known for its godliness; it was called “a house of God and a gate of heaven.” His father, Philip Henry, was well known as a clergyman. He was a Dissenter (because he dissented from the Act of Uniformity that was laid down by the church) and thence received no salary, but he served his congregation unselfishly. Philip Henry was gifted as a scholar and teacher, and he taught Matthew until he was eighteen years old. Then Matthew attended the academy in Islington, London. Although it was often persecuted as a “dissenting academy,” it was an outstanding educational institution. Matthew Henry attended the academy for two years and later studied law. With his incredible memory and admirable eloquence, he easily could have been a successful lawyer. However, he chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pastor. From 1687 to 1712, he pastored a church in Chester, and then a church in London until his death. Matthew Henry had a very happy and precious home life, in spite of several tragedies. His first wife died of smallpox, and three of his nine children by his second wife died in infancy. Much of the joy of his home life, no doubt, can be attributed to his faithfulness to morning and evening devotions. Matthew Henry was only fifty-two years old when he died from apoplexy in 1714. But he left behind a legacy that has not been soon forgotten.

Books by Matthew Henry

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