« PreviousContinue »
piety, as well as his regard to his affectionate friends at Ches- ! which must be passed over. On the whole, he seems to be ter, the reader shall have the account of the transaction in his better reconciled by it to the thoughts of returning. In one own words, extracted from his diary.
place he says,
“Blessed be God, I meet with a praying people, “ About midsummer, 1710, I had a letter from the congrega- and that love prayer." His last entry is July 29. "Preached, tion at Hackney, signifying that they had unanimously chosen 1 John ii. 25, This is the promise, soc. Administered the me to be their minister, and that I should find them as the im- Lord's supper. We had a very full congregation, which is portunate widow, that would have no nay. I several times some encouragement, at parting, to think of coming again." denied them. Ai length they wrote, that some of them would This he did much sooner than he expected; for it appears from
own hither; to prevent which, (not being unwilling to his MS. now before me, that, in the next January, he had a take a London journey in the interval between my third and subpæna to be a witness in a cause to be tried in the Queen's fourth volume,) I wrote them word I would come up to them, Bench, which greaty perplexed him. On this occasion he and did so. Then I laid myself open to the temptation, by in- preached at Hackney, January 27, and again on the 30th, being creasing my acquaintance in the city. They followed me, the lecture-day; when he writes, that he “met some of the after I came down again, with letters to me and the congrega- heads of the congregation, carnestly begging them, with tears, tion. In October I wrote to them that if they would stay for to release him from his promise," who told him that "they me till next spring, (which I was in hopes they would not have could not in conscience do it, because they thought his coming done,) I would come up, and make a longer stay, for mutual was for the public good.” On February 4, he had a fit of the trial. They wrote, they would wait till then. In May, 1711, stonc. On the 18th, he set off very willingly for Chester, and I went to them, and stayed till the end of July, and, before I arrived in better health than when he set out. But he had freparted with them, signified my acceptance of their invitation, quent returns of that complaint soon afterward, which however and my purpose to come to them, God willing, the next spring. did not occasion him to spare his labours. Ilowever, I [should have) denied them, but that Mr. Gunston, The time now approached for him to fulfil his engagement Mr. Smith, and some others, came to me from London, and with the people at Hackney, but the thought of leaving his begged me (not to refuse) for the sake of the public-which friends at Chester proved a very severe trial to him, and was the thing that turned the scales. By this determination I pressed down his spirit beyond measure, as appears from many bave brought upon myself more grief and care than I could passages in his diary written about this time. On May 11, have imagined, and have many a time wished it undone ; but, 1712, when he took his leave of his flock, he expounded the last having opened my mouth, I could not go back. I did with the chapter of Joshua in the morning, and of Matthew in the afterutmost impartiality (if I know any thing of myself) beg of noon, and preached on 1 Thess. iv. 17, 18. After this service God to incline my heart that way which would be most for his he writes, A very sad day-I see I have been unkind to the glory; and I trust I have a good conscience, willing to be congregation, who love me too well.—May 12. In much heafound in the way of my duty. Wherein I have done amiss, viness I set out in the coach for London, not knowing the things the Lord forgive me for Jesus' sake, and make this change con that shall befall me there, 15. Came to London-But Lord, cerning the congregation to work together for good to it!" am I in my way? I look back with sorrow for leaving Chester
Another paper, dated HACKNEY, July 13, 1711, written after I look forward with fear; but unto thee, O Lord! do I look up. fervent prayer to God, contains the reasons which occurred to Mr. Henry commenced his pastoral work at Hackney on the him why he should accept his invitation, which he wrote to be Lord's day, May 18. The appearance of the meeting-house, a satisfaction to him afterward. The following is a briof epic which then stood on the opposite side of the way to the present, tome of them : "1. I am abundantly satisfied dat it is lawful where three houses now stand, was not very inviting, either for ministers to remove, and in many cases expedient. 2. My without or within. It was an old irregular building, originally invitation to Hackney is not only unanimous, but pressing; and, formed out of dwelling-houses; but it was large, and the conupon many weeks' trial, I do not perceive any thing discoura- gregation was in a flourishing state, both in point of numbers ging, but every thing that promises comfort and usefulness. 3. and of wealth; for it is said, no less than thirty gentlemen's There seems an intimation of Providence in the many calls I carriages constantly attended the meeting, and that the annual have had that way before. 4. There is manifestly a wider collection for the Presbyterian Fund for poor ministers was door of opportunity to do good opened to me at London than three hundred pounds. This being the case, it seems surpriat Chester, which is my main inducement. 5. In drawing up sing that in Mr. Henry's time a better place of worship should and publishing my Exposition, it will be a great convenience not have been erected. What his salary was does not appear, to be near the press-also to have books at band to consult, and doubtless it was something considerable ; but that was with learned inen to converse with, for my own improvement. '6. I him no object in his removal. His grand motive was usefulhave followed Providence in this affair, and referred myself to ness to the church of God; and of this he had here a very its disposal. 7. I have asked the advice of many ministers, encouraging prospect. ant judicious Christians. 8. I have some reason to hope that On bis first appearance as the minister in this congregation, my poor endeavours may be more useful to those to whom they in the morning he expounded Genesis i. and in the afternoon are new. 9. I have not been without my discouragements at Matthew i. thus beginning, as it were, the world anew. He Chester, which have tempted me to think my work there in a preached on Acts xvi. 9, Come over to Macedonia, and help us. great measure done; many have left us, and few been (of late] O that gocd," says be, "may be done to precious souls! But added. 10. I am not able to ride long journeys, as formerly, to I am sad in spirit, lamenting my departure from my friends in preach, which last winter brought illness upon me, so that my Chester. And yet if they be well provided for, I shall be easy, services would be confined within the walls of Chester, 11. whatever discouragements I may meet with here." The congregation, though unwilling to part with me, have left Mr. Henry conducted his ministerial work at Hackney in the matter under their hands to my own conscience," &c. much the same manner as he had done at Chester. He began
It appears from Mr. Henry's diary, that his journey to Lon-the morning service on the Lord's day, (as the writer has heard don at the time here referred to was very uncomfortable, by some of his hearers relate,) at nine o'clock. Though the people reason of the baulness of the roads, but especially by his great had not been accustomed to so early an hour, they came into indisposition and pain, which much discouraged him. “I it without reluctance, and many of them were well pleased begged," says he," that these frequent returning illnesses with it. The only difference in ihe order of service was, that might be sanctified to me. I see how easily God can break he began with a short prayer, which it is supposed had been our measures, and disappoint us, and make that tedious which the custom, as it is to this
day. In labours he was more abunwe hoped would be pleasant.” However, he arrived safe, May dant here even than he had been at Chester, excepting that he 12 ; when he writes thus: “And now I look back upon the did not now take such frequent journeys, so that he soon made week with thankfulness for the mercies of God, and the rebukes it appear that he did not remove with a view to his own ease I have been under; such as give me cause to be jealous of and pleasure. T'hough his bodily strength was abated, and myself, whether I be in my way. Lord, show me wherefore some disorders began to grow upon him, his zeal and activity thou contendest with me, and wherefore thou relievest me!- continued the same, in expounding, catechising, and preaching, Lord's day, 13. I had but a bad night, yet better in the mor both to his own congregation and in various other places. As ning. Preached, 2 Pet. i. 4, Partake of a divine nature. Ad- he found here a larger field of service, his heart was equally ministered the Lord's supper to the congregation at Hackney. enlarged. He sometimes preached the Lord's day morning Not a hundred communicants. * I was somewhat enlarged in lecture at Little St. Helen's, at seven o'clock, and afterward preaching, but at the Lord's supper very much straitened, and went through the whole of his work at Hackney; and frequently, mod as I used to be at Chester.-14. A very good night, and after both these services at home, he preached the evening perfectly well, blessed be God. Mr. Tong and Mr. Evans lecture to the charity school at Mr. Lloyd's meeting, in Shakcame, and stayed with me most of the day. We talked much speare's Walk, Wapping; and, at other times, he preached in to and fro of my coming hither, but brought it to no issue. the evening at Redriff; after which he performed the whole of The congregation sceins very unanimous,"
his family worship as usual. Sometimes he was employed in During this visit at Ilackney, Mr. Henry preached fro- preaching at one place or other every day in the week, and even quently in the city, and several of his sermons at Salter's Halliwice or thrice on the same day. He showed himself ready to were published: viz. On Faith in Christ-On Forgiveness of every good work, as if he had a secret impression that his time Sin as a Debt--Hope and Fear balanced. Many entertaining would be short; and the nearer he came to the end of his course, articles appear in his journal respecting the visits he made, the swifter was his progress in holiness and all useful services. and the occurrences he met with, during his stay at Hackney, Nor did he appear to labour in vain, for he had many pleasing
proofs of success. He had great encouragement soon after his
coming to Hackney, from the usefulness of some sermons which * Uow much they were increased afterward, does not appear ; he preached, on Matth. xvi. 26, IV hat is a man profited, &c.; but it is probable that they were never very numerous, as many many of his hearers were greatly affected, and sonic of them dissenters, who live in the villages near London, keep up their said they were resolved never to pursue the world so eagerly connexion with the churches of which they had been members as they had before done. This was preaching to good purpose. when they reided there.
So many were the calls which Mr. Henry had to preach in
and about London, and so ready was he to comply with them, Hackney, as usual, and administered the Lord's supper. But that he sometimes appears in his diary to think that he needed it appeared that his late great exertions in preaching and traan apology, and to excuse it to himself, that he preached so velling were too much for him; so that it was no wonder he often. After opening an evening lecture near Shadwell Church, should, on the day following, have complained of great weariJanuary
25, 1712, when his text was Psalın lxxiii. 28, he writes ness, which was attended with drowsiness. Sir Richard Blackthus: "I hope, through grace, I can say, the reason why I am more being sent for, perceived symptoms of a diabetes, which so much in my work is, because the love of Christ constrains obliged him to confine himself to the house. The doctor absome, and I find, by experience, it is good for me to draw near to lutely forbid his going out the next
. Lord's day; upon which he God,"
writes—"A melancholy day: yet not without some communion Beside catechising on Saturday at Hackney, which he began with God. Perhaps I have been inordinately desirous to be at to do the second month after his coming thither, he had a cate- my study and work again." By the blessing of God, however, chetical lecture in London, which he undertook at the request upon the means prescribed, his disorder was removed in a few of some serious Christians in the city, but not without the days after this, and the following sabbath he went on in his approbation of several of his brethren. Such was his humility, ordinary work. Blessed be my God," says he, “who carried and his respect for the ininisters in London, that he declined me through it with ease and pleasure. giving an answer to the proposal till he had consulted them on The next month, September 20, he had a severe fit of the the subject; when they all expressed their cordial approbation stone, and it happened to be on the Lord's day : but it did not of the design, and several of them, of different denominations, prevent his going through his public work. That evening, and sent their sons to attend his instructions, and often attended the day following, he voided several stones, and rather largo themselves. The place fixed upon for this service, was Mr. ones. He went, however, on the Tuesday, to catechise in Wilcox's meeting-houso, in Monkwell Street, where his tutor, London, and on Wednesday preached his weekly lecture at Mr. Doolittle, formerly preached, and had been used to cate- Hackney; on Thursday evening a lecture in Spitalfields, and chise. The time was Tuesday evening, when considerable on Friday joined in the service of a fast, at Mr. Fleming's numbers, besides the catechumens, were used to attend; and meeting, at Founder's Hall, where he preached the sermon. there was great reason to believe that Mr. Henry's labours on This secmed to be trying his strength beyond the rule of pruthese occasions were very useful to numbers of both. It may dence or of duty. However on the Saturday he writes--"I not be amiss here to introduce an anecdote which he records bless God, I have now my health well again." But the painful of a robbery, after one of his evening lectures, for the sake of disorder several times returned. Early on Lord's day morning, bis pious reflections upon it. As he was coming homo,* he December 13, he was seized with another fit, but the pain went was stopped by four men, within half a mile of Hackney, who off in about an hour, and, notwithstanding the fatigue it had took from him ten or eleven shillings; opon which he writes, occasioned, he ventured to London, to preach the morning lec" What reason have I to be thankful to God, that having tra- ture, before it was light, when he took that text, John xx. 1, veled so much, I was never robbed before! What abundance The first day of the week early, while it was yet dark, &c.; and, of evil this love of money is the root of, that four men should after this, he performed the whole service at Hackney. Having venture their lives and souls for about half a crown apiece! See related these circumstances, he says-"Blessed be God for the vanity of worldly wealth, how soon we may be stript of it, help from on high!" On the following Thursday he had anohow loose we ought to sit to it."
ther very violent fit of the stone, of which his own account is Mr. Henry's tender concern for the best interests of young as follows_“I went to my study very early, but before seven persons, made him very desirous that they might enjoy all o'clock I was seized with a fit of the stone, which held me all proper means for instruction in the knowledge of divine things. day: pained and sick, I lay much on the bed, but had comfort With this view, he exerted himself to increase the number of in lifting up my heart to God, &c. About five o'clock in the charity schools, for the promoting of which he drew up the fol- evening I had ease, and about ten I voided a large stone. lowing paper: "It is humbly proposed that some endeavours Though my God caused me grief, yet he had compassion. may be used to form and maintain charity schools among the December 18. Very well to-day, though very ill yesterday. dissenters, for the teaching of poor children to read and write, How is this life counterchanged! And yet I am but girding on &c. to clothe them, and teach them the Assembly's Catechism. my harness; the Lord prepare me for the next fit, and the Lord It is thought advisable, and not impracticable.'' He then goes prepare me for the last!" on to prove both, and produces a series of arguments at some That period was not now very distant, though none apprcconsiderable length, which it is unnecessary here to specify, hended it to be so near as it proved. Though his constituand answers soine objections which might be urged against his lion was strong, his uncommon exertions must have tended to plan.
weaken it; and his close application in his study doubtless occaWhile he was thus laying himself out for the good both of sioned his nephritic complaint. It was also said, by those who old and young, in and about London, his mind was deeply knew hiim ai Hackney, that after his settlement there, he yielded affected with the state of bis congregation at Chester, which to the many invitations be had to sup with his friends, when he was yet destitute of a settled minister; and the disappointmert was under the temptation, though not to any unbecoming excess, they had met with in their applications to several cost him yet to eat and drink wliat was unfavourable to the health of so inany prayers and tears. When he took his leave of his old studious a man, and one who had been used 10 a more abste. friends, hic promised them that he would make them a visit | mious mode of life, and had grown corpulent, as his portrait every year, and spenu some sabbaths with them. This his shows him to have been. It is not improbable that this circumfriends at Klackney not only consented to, but recommended. stance tended to shorten his days. Accordingly, July 20, 1713, he set out on a journey to Chester At the beginning of this his last year (for so it proved to be) in the coach, and in his diary he records the particulars of it, Mr. Henry's mind appears from his diary to have been filled with many pious and benevolent remarks, and the sermons with dark apprehensions, on account of public affairs. The bill which he preached at the different places he visited. An which had passed for suppressing the schools of the dissenters extract may be acceptable, as it discovers his unabated zeal, he looked upon not only as a heavy grievance in itself, but as a and his unwearied diligence, in doing good wherever he went; prelude to further severities. On this occasion he preached in comparison with which, he says, The charge and the trouble an excellent discourse at Mr. Bush's meeting, on 2 Chron. of the journey shall be as nothing to me. "July 23. Came to xx. 12, Neither know we what to do, but our eyes are up unto Whitchurch: a wet day, but many friends met me there, to thee. my great reviving. In the afternoon, went to Broad-Oak, and The following week he took his journey to Chester, from preached from Rom. i. 11, I long to see you, soc. Next day whence he never returned. On May 30, he administered the went to Chester, where my friends received me with much Lord's supper, as the best way of parting with his friends at affection and respect. Lord's day, preached from 1 Tim. vi. Hackney. In the morning he expounded Exodus xxxviii. in 12, Lay hold on eternal life. It was very pleasant for me to the afternoon Luke vii. and preached on Rev. v. 9, For thou preach in the old place, where I have often met with God, and wast kluin, fc. On the next day he took the coach for Chester. heen owned by him. On Wednesday kept a congregational Mr. Tong, and some other friends, going to Coventry, accomfast. The next Lord's day preached and administered the panied him as far as St. Albans, and ihere they parted with I.ord's supper to my beloved fock: a great congregation. him, never to see his face any more! From a letter to Mrs. Monday went to Middlewich ; preached from Matth. xxiv. 12, Henry, dated June 7, it appeared that he bore the journey well, Iniquity abounds. The next day to Knutsford, to a meeting of and that his friends told him he looked better than he did when ministers: preached from Col. ii, 8, Though absent in the they saw him the last year. In the same letter he expressed flesh, yce present in the spirit. Lorel's day, August 9, preached much joy on account of his old congregation being well settled al Chester, Tit. ii. 13,' Looking for the blessed hope. I took with a minister, with whom he had communicated at the Lord's an affectionate farewell of my friends; prayed with many of table the day preceding, much to his satisfaction. With pleathem: the next day set out, with much ado, for Nantwich, sure he remarks—"They had a full communion: none of the where Mr. Mottershed is well settled: preached from Jos. i. congregation are gone off: if none have left it while it was 5, 6, As I was with Moser, I will be with thee, &c. From unsettled, I hope none will leave it now.” thenee, that night, went to Wrenbury-wood, and preached there From a subsequent article in Mr. Tong's narrative, it apfrom John i. 48, from thence to Danford, and preached at pears that Mr. Gardiner was not the sole minister of the conWhitchurch, on Pet. v. 10; took leave of my dear friends gregation, but that a Mr. Withington was united with him. there, and went in the coach alone. Came to London the 15th, How long the church and congregation continued in the flouand found my tabernacle in peace.'
rishing state in which Mr. Henry now beheld it, is uncertain ; The following day being the sabbath, he preached twice at but it is well known that, whatever was the cause, Mr. Gar
diner lived to see it greatly decline. This, however, was no
just reflection upon him : it has been the common affliction of * Mr. Tong saya, from catechising on Tueplay; but from his the best of ministers, especially when they have been advanced own MS. it appears it was on Lord'e day evening, after preaching in years. Mr. Henry, however, was gone to a better world at Mr. Rorewell's.
before the sad change took place, the
knowledge of which would
have occasioned him inexpressible regret, on the recollection | Sudlow, a good friend of Mr. Henry, said, before ho left of his being at all accessary to it.
Chester, they should never see him again. His friends As he continued to interest himself in the welfare of that therefore should have dissuaded him from this undertaking, society to the very last, so likewise he did in whatever con especially on horseback. As he passed Dudden he drank a cerned the other congregations in that neighbourhood, with glass of the mineral water there. Before he came to Torporley, which he had been so long connected; and in this his last jour- his horse stumbled in a hole, and threw him off. He was a ney he visited several of them, to the great injury of his health : little wet, but said he was not hurt, and felt no inconvenience indeed he may be said to have sacrificed his life in their ser- from the fall. His companions pressed him to alight at vice. On Tuesday, June 8, he went to Wrexham, and, having Torporley, but he resolved to go on to Nantwich, and there he preached there, returned to Chester that night; he says, not prea on Jer. xxxi. 18; but all his hearers noticed his want at all tired :" but it seems he had some apprehension of a of his usual liveliness, and after dinner, he was advised to lose return of the diabetes, and drank some of the Bristol water, by a little blood. He consented to this, though he made no way of prevention. On the 14th he went to visit his brother complaint of indisposition. After bleeding he fell asleep, and Warburton, at Grange, and from thence to Knutsford, whither slept so long, that some of his friends thought it right to awaken Mr. Gardiner accompanied him, and where he met several of him, at which he expressed himself rather displeased. his brethren. From thence he rode, on the Tuesday evening, His old intimate friend, Mr. Illidge, was present, who had to Chowbent in Lancashire, and the next day returned to Ches- been desired by Sir Thomas Delves and his lady to invite him ter. Though he did not perceive himself to be greatly fatigued, to their house, at Doddington, whither their steward was sent some of his friends could not but fear that he must have injured to conduct him. But he was not able to proceed any further, his health by riding so many miles in so short a time, and by and went to bed at Mr. Mottershed's house, where he felt preaching at every place where he came, especially in so hot á himself so ill that he said to his friends, "Pray for me, for now summer. Indeed he himself, in a letter written at this time to I cannot pray for myself.” While they were putting him to Mrs. Henry, complains of the heat of the weather, which, he bed, he spoke of the excellence of spiritual comforts in a time says, made him as faint and feeble as he was when he came up of affliction, and blessed God that he enjoyed them. To his last from the country; and, from a subsequent passage, it seems friend, Mr. Illidge, he addressed himself in these memorable as if he found himself, after his late hasty tour, far from being words: “You have been used to take notice of the sayings of well. “If God bring me home in safety," says he, "I believe dying men-this is mine: That a life spent in the service of it will do well to use the means I did last year, unless the return God, and communion with him, is the most comfortable and of the cool weather should make it needless; for when I am in pleasant life that one can live in the present world.” He had the air I am best." He adds, “Though I am here among my a restless night, and about five o'clock on Tuesday morning he old friends, yet I find my new ones lie near my heart, among was seized with a fit, which his medical attendants agreed to whom God has now cut out my work."
be an apoplexy. He lay speechless, with his eyes fixed, till In the last letter which Mrs. Henry received from him, dated about eight o'clock, June 22, and then expired. June 19, he informed her that he had taken the coach for A near relation of his wrote on this occasion, “I believe it Wednesday, the 23d, and that he was to get into it at was most agreeable to him to have so short a passage from his Whitchurch, from whence he was pleased to think he should work to his reward. And why should we envy him? It is have the company of Mr. Yates of that place; and as the glorious to die in the service of so great and good a Master, following Wednesday was the day for the quarterly fast at who,
we are sure, will not let any of his servants lose by him." Hackney, he expressed his desire that due care might be taken Yet it cannot but be regretted, that any of them should, by to engage the assistance of some of his brethren.
an inordinate zeal, shorten their days, and, by this means, The next day after he wrote this letter was the sabbath, prevent their more lasting usefulness. which he spent at Chester; and it was the last he spent on On Thursday, before the corpse was removed from Nantearth: a remarkable circumstance, that Providence should so wich, Mr. Reynolds, of Salop, preached an excellent sermon order it that his last labours should be bestowed where they on the sad occasion, which was printed. Six ministers were begun, and where the most of his days had been spent. accompanied it to Chester, who were met by eight of the It was also singular and pleasing that, on his two last sabbaths clergy, ten coaches, and a great many persons on horseback. in the church below, he was directed to a subject so peculiarly Many dissenting ministers followed the mourners, and a adapted to the occasion, namely, that of the eternal sabbath in universal respect was paid to the deceased by persons of heaven, on which he was so soon to enter; for on the preceding distinction of all denominations. He was buried in Trinity Lord's day, he had preached twice on Heb. iv. 9, There Church, in Chester, where several dear relatives had been laid remaineth a rest for the people of God; which he considered, before him. Mr. Withington delivered a suitable discourse, agreeably to the original, under the idea of a sabbath, which he for the improvement of the providence, at the Thursday lecture, illustrated in a variety of particulars. On the Lord's day and another on the Lord's day morning after the funeral, as following, he kept the same idea in view, while he treated on Mr. Gardiner also did in the afternoon, on 2 Kings ii. 12, that solemn caution, for the improvement of the subject-Let My father, my father, foc. Mr. Acton, the Baptist minister, us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into took a respeciful notice of the loss which the church had his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. The sustained by this event. When the news of his death reached circumstances of Mr. Henry's closing his ministry in this London, it occasioned universal lamentation: there was remarkable manner, induced Mr. Tong, in his Life, to give his scarcely a pulpit among the dissenters in which notice was not readers the substances of both these discourses.
taken of the breach made in the church of God; almost every The next day after delivering them he set off, in his journey sermon was a funeral sermon for Mr. Henry; and many, who homeward, without feeling any inconvenience from the past were no friends to the nonconformists, acknowledged that they day's labours ; indeed he thought he had found relief from his had lost one who was a great support and honour to their late indisposition, by his excursion to Knutsford and Lanca- interest. The sermon preached to his congregation at shire ; so that he was encouraged (not very prudently) to make Hackney, July 11, 1714, was by his intimate friend, Mr. an appointment for preaching at Nantwích that day, in his William 'Tong, on John xiij. 36, Whither I go thou canst way to London. But all his friends observed that he appeared not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterward. This very heavy and drowsy; though, when asked how he did, he discourse was published, and afterward subjoined to the folio always answered, “ Well.” An apothecary, however, Mr. edition of Mr. Henry's Works.
EPISTLE TO THE READER.
It is not so much our design to recommend this excellent | It ought to be very grateful to us, to consider how, in giving performance, as to tell the world how sensible we are that it us the Bible, our gracious God has most kindly supplied the can never need our recommendation. We are fully assured manifest deficiencies of our personal knowledge. We aro it is able to speak for itself; and, if it were not so, we know short lived and short sighted creatures, it is but very little that very well that our names and sentiments can never contribute falls under our own observation ; but God has put a book into any authority to it.
our hands, by the help whereof we may stretch out our knowWe will not take notice of those extrinsic and occasional ledge to a vast compass : if we look into the historical part of advantages which give unto books a precarious and short lived it, we may go back as far as to the beginning of time ; and if reputation ; such as, the capacity of the generality of readers, we consult the prophetical, we may look as far forward as to the humours of the age, an entire subserviency, or a direct the end of days, and may take a view, from first to last, of all opposition to the prevailing interests of the places in which we those things in which our duty and happiness are most nearly live : but this is certain, the real intrinsic and abiding value interested. of a work of this nature must arise from the excellency of its As to the manner in which the reverend Author has treated subject, together with the just manner in which it is treated. this noble subject, we shall only say it is worthy of himself,
The subject of this book may, with very good reason, chal- that is, of one who from a child has known the holy scriptures, lenge the preference to every thing else in this world : it is the that, by the example and advice of an excellent father, by the first volume of the oracles of God, of equal authority with the help of a pious and learned education, bas searched very narrest of the Bible, and of excellent use to explain and confirm rowly into them, and not only made them the delightful subject the other parts of sacred writ unto us.
of his solitary hours, but constantly allowed them a large room The study of antiquity has always been accounted a very both in his family devotions and public ministrations. How profitable and pleasing thing, and there is no antiquity like unto great and manifest advantages have resulted from hence to that which we have in the Books of Moses : other histories are himself, as to his own temper and conduct, and to the happy novel and modern, if compared with this : some of them, per- people among whom he has spent so much of his life and haps, may lead us a thousand years back, iwo thousand is a labours, we must not say, because we would not offend him, great way; those that pretend to go higher, lose themselves, but leave it to the impartial thoughts of all those that will be so and us too, in the dark and untrodden paths of fancy and con- kind to themselves as to accept of the assistance that is here jecture; but here we have a book that gives us a certain, offered unto them. rational, satisfactory account of the beginning of time, the cre We cannot conclude without expressing our hearts' desire ation of the world, the original of nations, the division of lan- and prayer to God, that our dear and honoured brother may guages, and, what concerns us most to know, the unhappy source live to see the good success of this part of his work, and may of all that vanity and vice that have corrupted human nature, have the opportunity to pursue and perfect all his further designs and made so deplorable a breach betwixt God and man; together of this nature, with the wonderful counsels and methods of Divine love, for
JOHN SHOWER, the recovery of sinners by the Promised Seed, so directly shadowed forth, especially by the typical sacrifices of the Leviti
WILLIAM TONG. cal law,
London, 31st Oct. 1706.
RECOMMENDATION BY THE EMINENT MR. ROMAINE,
WAS BY HIM ANNEXED TO A FOLIO EDITION, PUBLISHED IN NUMBERS IN THE YEAR 1761.
TO THE PUBLIC.
God their study and delight, and who think it their happiness
to be able to say with that great king, Lord, what love have I MR. HENRI's Comment upon the Bible being grown very unto thy law; all the day long is my study in it. And his chascarce, and there being a demand both at home and abroad for racter will be further established, as the work spreads ; for a new edition, it is hoped the present method taken to restore whoever really desires to be made wiser in the things of God, it to the public will meet with general approbation and encou- or to attain greater experience of them, will find, by the help ragement, as it seems the best way to promote the spreading of divine grace, the reading of Mr. HENRY very instructing of this valuable work : for it could not be purchased, being so and improving. voluminous, by every one's purse at once, and therefore this It need not be doubted then, but the present publication of expedient of publishing a certain number of sheets weckly by this work, the character of which is so well established, will subscription, was resolved on.
be favourably received ; and the more so, as it is seasonable. As to the merit of MR. Henry s Comment, little need be There is at present a great revival of religion, both at home said. This fifth edition bespeaks its former kind reception in and in the American Colonies: and all these religious people the learned world; and the present demand for it shows, that make the scripture the rule of their faith and practice. They it still continues to have the public favour and esteem. And prize the good word of life, and they experience the power indeed it is worthy. THERE IS NO COMMENT UPON THE of it: for they receive it, not as the word of man, but as it is in Bible, EITHER ANCIENT OR MODERN, IN ALL RESPECTS truth the word of God, which also worketh in them. Such EQUAL TO MR. HENRY's. He had a great insight into the persons will be thankful for this publication, which puts into at raising some spiritual use and improvement from every pas- the Gospel of their salvation. true sense and meaning of scripture, and had a peculiar talent iheir hands the
best help now extant to their reading with profit sage. In these two things he excelled, and for these he has For these reasons I heartily recommend the present edition gained an established reputation-established among the Minis- of Mr. Henry's Comment, and hope it will tend to promote ters of the Gospel, who make the scripture the standard of their the interest of religion, and bring many souls to the knowledge preaching, and who have long found MR. Henry to be unto of saving truth. them as a library, and established among all serious persons,
W. ROMAINE, both CHURCHMES and DISSENTERS, who make the word of LAMBETH, June 16, 1761.
ABSTRACT OF THE REIGNS
KINGS OF JUDAH AND ISRAEL,
599 11 Months Jehoiakim
Second captivity of Judah.
Jeremiah and Ezekiel pro-