Page:An Exposition of the Old and New Testament (1828) vol 1.djvu/36

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1C


ME.MOIKS OK THE KE\ . MA'ITHEW HENKY.


uul Mlminiitrrcd the Lord’s Mippcr to niy belo%'cd Aock: » great congre^Wn. Monday went to Middle* wich; prca(.'hcd fn>ni M^tth. xxiv. ^ InujuU^ahountU. The next £iy to KtMUfurd, to a i&ertiog o( iiiuiuttcrs: preached from Col. ii. 8. Though abtrnl in the Jlnh, yet firrtent m the efitm. Lord’s .luguti y, preached at Chester, Tit. iL 13. I/iokwr for the blrmed hofte. 1 took an aifrctknate (arestAk. of my friends; pravetl with many of them; the next d^y set out, with niuch ado, Uir Nantwich, j^ierc Mr. .Vlotiershcd ts wcfl settled: preai’hetl from Joa. L 3, 6. J v>u» vnth .i/oara, / vnJi be vuh^hee, iS^c, From them e, that night, went to Wrenlrur) -wood, and preached there from John L 48; from thence to DanI' >rd, and preached at \\'hitclmrch, lai 1 I’ct. v. 10; took lca\e of niy dear friends there, and went in the coach alone. C.ime to L'sidon the 13th, and found my tabcntaclc in peace.”

'I'hc tollowing d.ty t>cing the sal>bath, he preached twice at Hackney, asuaual, and administered the l^aird's supper. But it apj>eared that his late great cxertkau in preaching and travelling were too much f'<r him; mc tlmt it was no wonder he shciuld, on the day following, have conipLained of great weariness, winch Was attended with drowsiness. Sir Kicliard Hlackmore, being sent for, perceived svmptoms of a diatx-les, w Inch obliged Iniii to c:infine himself to the house. 'I'he doctor abscdutely forbid his going out the next I,onl’»d;iy; upon which he writes — melancholy day: yet not without sonic communicai with Cicxl. I’erh tps I have been inordiiuitely desirous to be at my study and work again.” By tlie blessing of (iod, however, the uic.iiis presc rilK-d, his disorder was removed in a few clays after this, and the following s iblrath he went on in his ordinary work. ” Blessed be my Clod,” says he, " who carried me through it with c.ise and plea.sure. ”

The next moiitli, .'■Je/ilrmber vO, he had a severe fit of the stone, and it happened to be cm the Lord’s city: hut it did not prevent Ins going through his public work. That cveming, and the day followinr, he voided several stones, and rather large caies. lie went, however, on the Tuesday, to catechise in Lem* don, and on W ednesday pleached his weekly lecture at H.icknev;cm 'I’hursday cveninj; a lecture in Spit.illiclds, and on Fric\ay joined in the service of a fa.st, at .Mr. Fleming’s .Meeting, at f oundcr’s-hall, where he iireachcd the sermon. This seemed to be trying his strength ocyond the rule of prudence or of duty. However on the S;itunlay he writes— “ 1 bless (jod, 1 have now mv health well again.” But the p.iinfiil dis-mler seveml times ix-tiimecL K irly on laird’s day morning, /December 13, he was seised with another fit, hut the pain wcnit (4f in about an hour, and, notwithstanding the fatigue it lusd occa- sioned, he ventured to London, to pre.ich the moming Icctui-e, Ix-f.'rc it w;is light, whem he tcxik that text, John xx. 1. The firtt day of the week early, vhile it vhu yet dark, Ue.; and, after this, he per- formed the whole service at Hacxney. Having related these circumst inccs, he s;iys — “ Blessed be LkxI for help from on high!” On the following Thursday he hadiui' thcr very violent fit of the stone, of which his own account is as follows— “'1 went to my study very early, but before seven o’clock 1 was seized with a fit of the stone, which held me :J1 day: pained iuid sick, I lay much cm tlie bed, but had comfort in lifting up my heart to GikI, lice:, .\bout five o’clock in the evening 1 had case, and about ten I voided a large stone. Though my (Icxl causcxl me gnef, yet he had compassi*m. December 18. Verv' well to clay, though ver)- ill yesterday. How is this life couiiterchaiigcd! .\nd yet 1 am Imt girding cm my har- ness; tlic Lord jirepcirc me for the next fit, and the Loi-d prepare me for the last!”

That period was not now very distiuit, though none apprehended it to he so near as it proverd. Though his constitution was stnuig, his uncommon exertions must have tended to weaken it; and his close appli- cation in his study doubtfess cx;casioncd his nephritic c:oniplaint. It was also snkl, by tli<«c who luiew him at H.ickney, that after his settlement there, he yielded to ilic many invititkns he had to sup with his friends, wlicn he was under the temutation, though not to any uiitiecoming excess, yet to cal and drink wh.it was unrivourable to the he:dtn of so stuclicxis a man, and one who liacl Wen used to a more abstemious mode of life, and had grown coqiulent, us his portrait shows him to have been. It is not improliahlc tliat this circumstance tended to shorten his clays,

.\t the beginning of this his last year (for so it proved to 6c) Mr. Henry ’s mind ;ipp<ars from his diary to h.ivc been fillecf with chirk apprehensions on account of public afTairs. The bill which had puoed for suppressing the schools of the clissentcrs he Icxikcd upon not only as a heavy grievance in it.self, but as a prelude to ftirther severities. On this occasion he preached on excellent discourse at Mr. Bush’s meet- ing, on 2 (!hron. xx. 12. .Veithrr know we what to do, but our eye* are ufi unto thee.

Tlic following week he t(»k his journey to Chester, from w hence he never retumecL On May SO, he administered the L- rd’s supper, :is the herst w:iy of narting with his friends at Hackney. In the moming he expounded F.xcxlus xxxviii, in the aftenumn Luke vii, and preached cm Kcv. v. 9. For thou wait tlain, t^c. On the next day he took the coach for Chester. Mr. Tong, and seme other friemds going to Coventry, accompanied hini us fir as St. .\lbans, and there they p irted with him, never to see his face any more! Fmm a letter to Mrs. Henry, d ited June 7, it apjicared that he bore the journey well, and that his friends told him he I'xikccl Ix-tter th.in he did when they saw him the l;isl year. In the xamc letter he expressed much joy on account of his old congregation la*ing well settled with a minister, with whom he had c nimunicatcd at the Lord’s t:ib!c lhed,iy preceding, much to his sitisfartion. With pleasure he rem irk.s — “ They had a full comniuni' n: none of the congregation arc gone off: if none have left it while it w.is unsettled, 1 hope none will leave it now.”

From a subsequent article in .Mr. Tong’s n irmtive, it npi>cars that Mr. flanliner wss not the sole minister of the congreg ition, but rii.it a Mr. VVithingti’ii was united with him. How long the church and congregiition continued in the nourishing stite in w hich Mr. Henry now lielield it, is uiiccrtmn; but it is well known that, whatever was the oiii-se, Mr. (lanlincr livcil to sec it greatly decline. This, how- ever, wa.s unjust reflection upon him: it h.is Ixen the common affliction of the best of ministers, especially when thev have been advanced in vean. Mr. Henry, however, was gene to a licttcr world lieforc the sad ch:injic tixik place, the knowledge of which would have occnakmed him inexpressible regret, on the recollection of his lieing at all accessjiry to it

.\s he continued to interest himself in the welfare of that society to the ven last, so likew isc he did in whatever ccnccmcd the other congregations in that ncighlKnirhord, with which he had Ijcen so Jong con- nected; an 1 in this his last j nimey he visited several of them, to the great injury of his health: iiKlcvd he m iv be said to have 8;icrifice<l his life in their sen ice. On Tuesday. June 8, he went to Wrexham, and, having pn-ache.l there, returned to Chester that night; he says, “ not at all tired hut it seems he had some I'nprcheiision of a return of the dialK-tes, and drank sonic of il»c Bristol water, by way of pre vention. On the 14th, he went to visit his brt lher M'arburton, at Grange, and from thence to KnuU-