Bits Of Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry, known for his verse by verse commentaries of both the Old and New Testaments, is a treasure trove of spiritual wisdom. Below are just a few of these “pearls”:

“Eve was not taken out of Adam’s head to top him, neither out of  his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.”

“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.”

“To be religious, is to cast all our cares upon God, and to commit all our ways and works to him, with an assurance that He will care for us. And is this not pleasant? It is a very sensible pleasure to be eased of some pressing burden which we are ready to sink under; and care is such a burden it is a heaviness in the heart of man which maketh it to stoop. Now true religion enables us to ‘acknowledge God in all our ways’ (Proverbs 3:6) and then depend upon him to direct our steps, and follow his directions, not ‘leaning to our own understanding’. It is to refer ourselves, and the disposal of everything that concerns us in this world, to God, and to his will and wisdom, with an entire acquiescence in His award and arbitration: ‘Here I am, let the Lord do with me as seemeth good in His eyes’ (2 Samuel 15:26).”

“To be truly godly, is to have our wills melted into the will of God in everything, and to say amen to it, not only as a prayer, but as a covenant; ‘Father in heaven, thy will be done’; ‘not as I will, but as Thou wilt’. It is to be fully reconciled to all the disposals of the divine providence, and all the methods of divine grace, both concerning others and ourselves; to be satisfied that all is well that God doth, and that it will appear so at last, when the mystery of God shall be finished. And how doth the mind enjoy itself that is come to this! How easy is it! It is not only freed from racking anxieties, but filled with pleasing prospects: fears are hereby silenced, and hopes kept up and elevated. Nothing can come amiss to those who have thus been taught by the principles of their religion to make the best of that which is, because it is the will of God; which is making a virtue of necessity.”

“It is common for those that are farthest from God, to boast themselves most of their being near to the Church.”

“Whatever we have of this world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it come between us and Christ.”

“Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in His time, which is always the more convenient season. God will work when He pleases, how He pleases, and by what means He pleases. He is not bound to keep our time, but He will perform His word, honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek Him.”

“Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind.”

“All the grace contained in [the Bible] is owing to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior; and, unless we consent to Him as our Lord, we cannot expect any benefit by Him as our Savior.”

“The devil visits idle men with his temptations. God visits industrious men with His favors.”

“God has wisely kept us in the dark concerning future events and reserved for himself the knowledge of them, that He may train us up in a dependence upon Himself and a continued readiness for every event.”

“Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it.”

“You are all sinners, and guilty before God; conceived in iniquity, born in sin, you are by nature children of disobedience, and children of wrath; whether you have ever thought of it or not, certainly it is so; the Scripture has concluded you all under sin, and consequently under a sentence of death, like that of a physician upon his patient, when he pronounces his disease mortal; nay, like that of a judge upon the prisoner, when he pronounces his crime capital, so that both ways your danger is imminent and extreme. And shall not the consideration of this prevail to make you sober? Were your bodies under some threatening disease, which, in all probability, would in a little time cut off the thread of your life, I believe that would make you serious – that would make you solemn; were you condemned to die shortly by the hand of justice, that would sober you; and is not the death and ruin of an immortal soul more to be dreaded than that of a mortal body? And should not the danger of that give a louder alarm to the most secure, and cast a greater damp up on the most jovial, than of the other? And when you are told, that though the disease is mortal, it is not incurable; though the crime is capital, it is not unpardonable; how should that yet further prevail to make you serious – to make you very solicitous, very industrious to get the disease healed, and the crime forgiven?  Your case will not allow any of your time or thoughts to run waste, or to be trifled away, but you have need by sober mindedness to employ both in a due attendance to the things that belong to your everlasting peace.”

Original Content: Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
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