Do You Promise?
Matthew Henry, born October 18, 1662, was a “nonconformist” Puritan minister (meaning not in fellowship or agreement with the Church of England) in England, and perhaps the most preeminent devotional Bible commentator. He was the second son of a pastor, Philip Henry, who was ejected from his pastorate in the Established Church of England because of his Protestant views. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible as it is commonly called, was used by many who helped to bring about the First Great Awakening in the 1700s. His commentaries greatly influenced men like George Whitefield and the Wesley’s. Henry’s commentary stands in enduring contrast to the ethos of liberal Christianity against the Bible – its author, its purity, its infallibility – and about the divinity of Jesus Christ, which even then was being promoted in certain educational institutions.
Being born prematurely, during his childhood Matthew seems to have suffered from a weak constitution, but which was compensated for by spiritual vigor. It is reported that some credible evidence indicates that Matthew could read parts of the Bible distinctly at only three years old, with some apparent comprehension.
Mr. Henry died suddenly, after battling diabetes and kidney stones while carrying out his work, in June, 1714. (taken from http://www.conservapedia.com/Matthew_Henry).
His life on earth was filled with many challenges in a time of religious debate and division between Catholicism and various views of Protestant Christians. As he grew older, he wrote and preached on the reward of heaven for a Christian. Then, as now, people had questions like, “Where do we go when we die?” “Do we know what is happening with our loved ones on earth?” “What is it like for a Christ follower when we die?” So, Matthew Henry sought to comfort believers with teachings on the realities of Heaven. Here is one of his teachings written as his testimony and beliefs of what awaited him “just on the other side”.
For the believer, death means entering into the glorious presence of Christ. The 18th-century Bible commentator Matthew Henry expressed this confidence in words he hoped would be read after his death by anyone who might unduly mourn his passing. He wrote:
“Would you like to know where I am? I am at home in my Father’s house, in the mansions prepared for me here. I am where I want to be; no longer on the stormy sea, but in God’s safe, quiet harbor. My sowing time is done and I am reaping; my joy is as the joy of harvest.
Would you like to know what I am doing? I see God, not as through a glass darkly, but face to face. I am engaged in the sweet enjoyment of my precious Redeemer. I am singing hallelujahs to Him who sits upon the throne, and I am constantly praising Him.
Would you know what blessed company I keep? It is better than the best on earth. Here are the holy angels and the spirits of just men made perfect. … I am with many of my old acquaintances with whom I worked and prayed, and who have come here before me.
Lastly, would you know how long this will continue? It is a dawn that never fades! After millions and millions of ages, it will be as fresh as it is now. Therefore, weep not for me!” (Copied).
Jesus has promised us all of these things and so much more. And, in a world of broken promises, it is so good to know that Jesus, Who is THE TRUTH, will do exactly what He promised!