Many a dangerous temptation comes to us in fine gay colours that are but skin-deep.
Commentaries, Genesis 3
Our creature comforts
Commentaries, Psalm 37
None is so deaf as those that will not hear.
Commentaries, Psalm 58
Blushing is the colour of virtue.
Commentaries, Jeremiah 20
Better late than never.
Commentaries, Matthew 21
Judas had given them the slip.
Commentaries, Luke 22
Do nothing till thou hast well considered the end of it.
Commentaries, Proverbs 7
Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.
Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 9.
was an English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
commentator on the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...
and Presbyterian minister.
He was born at Broad Oak, a farmhouse on the borders of Flintshire
Flintshire is a county in north-east Wales. It borders Denbighshire, Wrexham and the English county of Cheshire. It is named after the historic county of Flintshire, which had notably different borders...
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...
. His father, Philip Henry
Philip Henry was an English Nonconformist clergyman and diarist.-Early life:Henry graduated from Oxford in 1652 and was ordained in 1657. He was the eldest son of John Henry, keeper of the orchard at Whitehall, and was born at Whitehall on 24 August 1631...
, had just been ejected
The Great Ejection followed the Act of Uniformity 1662 in England. Two thousand Puritan ministers left their positions as Church of England clergy, following the changes after the restoration to power of Charles II....
under the Act of Uniformity 1662
The Act of Uniformity was an Act of the Parliament of England, 13&14 Ch.2 c. 4 ,The '16 Charles II c. 2' nomenclature is reference to the statute book of the numbered year of the reign of the named King in the stated chapter...
. Unlike most of his fellow-sufferers, Philip possessed some private means, and was thus able to give his son a good education. Matthew went first to a school at Islington
Islington is a neighbourhood in Greater London, England and forms the central district of the London Borough of Islington. It is a district of Inner London, spanning from Islington High Street to Highbury Fields, encompassing the area around the busy Upper Street...
, and then to Gray's Inn
The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns...
. He soon gave up his legal studies for theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...
, and in 1687 became minister of a Presbyterian congregation at Chester. He moved again in 1712 to Mare Street, Hackney
The London Borough of Hackney is a London borough of North/North East London, and forms part of inner London. The local authority is Hackney London Borough Council....
. Two years later (22 June 1714), he died suddenly of apoplexy
Apoplexy is a medical term, which can be used to describe 'bleeding' in a stroke . Without further specification, it is rather outdated in use. Today it is used only for specific conditions, such as pituitary apoplexy and ovarian apoplexy. In common speech, it is used non-medically to mean a state...
at the Queen's Aid House
The Queen's Aid House, or 41 High Street, is a timber-framed, black-and-white Elizabethan merchant's house in Nantwich, Cheshire, England. It is located on the High Street immediately off the town square and opposite the junction with Castle Street . It is listed at grade II...
(41 High Street) in Nantwich
Nantwich is a market town and civil parish in the Borough of Cheshire East and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The town gives its name to the parliamentary constituency of Crewe and Nantwich...
while on a journey from Chester to London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
Matthew Henry's well-known six-volume Exposition of the Old and New Testaments
(1708–1710) or Complete Commentary
, originally published in 1706, provides an exhaustive verse by verse study of the Bible. covering the whole of the Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...
, and the Gospels and Acts in the New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....
. After the author's death, the work was finished (Romans through Revelation) by thirteen other nonconformist ministers, partly based upon notes taken by Henry's hearers, and edited by George Burder
George Burder was an English Nonconformist divine.-Biography:Burder was born in London on the 5 June 1752. In his early twenties he was an engraver, but in 1776 he began preaching, and was minister of the Independent church at Lancaster from 1778 to 1783. Subsequently he held charges at Coventry ...
and John Hughes in 1811.
Henry's commentaries are primarily exegetical, dealing with the scripture text as presented, with his prime intention being explanation, for practical and devotional purposes. While not being a work of textual research, for which Henry recommended Matthew Poole
Matthew Poole was an English Nonconformist theologian.-Life to 1662:He was born at York, the son of Francis Pole, but he spelled his name Poole, and in Latin Polus; his mother was a daughter of Alderman Toppins there. He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, from 1645, under John...
's Synopsis Criticorum
, Henry's Exposition
gives the result of a critical account of the original as of his time, with practical application. It was considered sensible and stylish, a commentary for devotional purposes.
Famous evangelical Protestant preachers such as George Whitefield
George Whitefield , also known as George Whitfield, was an English Anglican priest who helped spread the Great Awakening in Britain, and especially in the British North American colonies. He was one of the founders of Methodism and of the evangelical movement generally...
and Charles Spurgeon
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was a large British Particular Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the "Prince of Preachers"...
used and heartily commended the work, with Whitefield reading it through four times - the last time on his knees. Spurgeon stated, "Every minister ought to read it entirely and carefully through once at least."
Henry's Miscellaneous Writings
, including a Life of Mr. Philip Henry
, The Communicant's Companion
, Directions for Daily Communion with God
, A Method for Prayer
, A Scriptural Catechism
, and numerous sermons, the life of his father, tracts, and biography of eminent Christians, together with the sermon on the author's death by William Tong
William Tong was an English Presbyterian minister, at the heart of the subscription debate of 1718.-Life:He was born on 24 June 1662, probably at Eccles near Manchester, where his father was buried. His mother was early left a widow with three children...
were edited in 1809; and in 1830 a new edition included sermons not previously included and Philip Henry's "What Christ is made to believers". The collection was issued several times by different publishers.