2000-07-03 - Matthew Henry
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
Matthew Henry is best known for his popular Bible commentary that is still in print today. In my reading recently I came upon a short biography of his childhood and later found an interesting section elsewhere where he shares some thoughts on a glorified spirit. I thought I would share these with you today and hope that they edify you as they did me.
Matthew Henry had that gift from God which is above almost all gifts that God gives children, namely, Godly parents. At the age of three he was able to read the Bible and make observations on what he read. A childhood friend remarked later in life that Matthew, Very early put away childish things.
When he was ten years old two things happened to him. First he became convinced of his calling into the ministry. Second he became very ill. He was so sick that, his death was every day expected. His father continued to preach in the countryside because he felt that, weeping must not hinder sowing.
On one of his trips to preach Matthew was in extreme danger when he left. Matthew was his only son. There was an elderly widow who would care for Matthew when he was away. When Matthews father returned to the house from one of his trips he told the woman that on his trip back, At such a place and time upon the road, I did most solemnly, truly, and deliberately, resign up my dear child unto God, to do what he pleased with him and me. To which the wise woman replied, And I believe, Sir, at that place and time, God gave him back to you again. Soon afterwards Matthew made a speedy recovery.
Matthew Henry on the Happiness of a glorified Spirit.Would you know where I am? I am home in my fathers house, in the mansion prepared for me there. I am where I would be, where I have long, and often, desired to be; no longer on a stormy sea, but in a safe and quiet harbor. My working time is done, I am resting; my sowing time is done, I am reaping; my joy is at the joy of harvest.
Would you know how it is with me? I am made perfect in holiness; grace is swallowed up in glory; to top-stone of the building is brought forth. Would you know what I am doing? I see God; I see Him as He is, not through a glass, darkly, but face to face; and the sight is transforming, it makes me like Him.
I am in the sweet employment of my blessed Redeemer, my Head and Husband, whom my soul loved, and for whose sake I was willing to part with all. I am here bathing myself at the spring-head of heavenly pleasures, and joys unutterable; and, therefore, weep not for me. I am here keeping a perpetual Sabbath; what that is, judge by your short Sabbaths. I am here singing Hallelujahs incessantly, to Him who sits upon the throne, and rest not day or night from praising Him.
Would you know what company I have? Blessed company, better than the best on earth. Here are holy angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. I am set down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God, with blessed Paul, and Peter, and James, and John, and all the saints; and here I meet with many of my old acquaintance that I fasted and prayed with, who got before me hither.
And lastly, would you consider how long this is to continue? It is a garland that never withers; a crown of glory that fades not away; after millions of millions of ages, it will be as fresh as it is now, and therefore, weep not for me.
Soli Deo Gloria,