I am working on a short biography of Matthew Henry, the great writer, whose Bible commentaries are still being used today, and still, over 300 years later, are popular and considered standard for Biblical study. Here is another figure from Christian history, who also served as a Pastor. I find it striking now, looking at the brief histories I’ve written or gathered, of great men of the faith, that I never mentioned as part of their initial introduction, that they served as Pastors.
I came across this story, taken from Matthew Henry’s diary, which was written shortly after he had been robbed. I have to share this with you. It reminds me of something about what was thought about the early Christians, who had been converted through the preaching of the Apostle Paul: The amazing thing about these new converts was not that they did not steal anymore … it was that they did not want to steal anymore.
Here’s the short story from Matthew Henry:
“Many years ago, Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible scholar, was once robbed of his wallet. Knowing that it was his duty to give thanks in everything, he meditated on this incident and recorded in his diary the following:
‘Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.'”
Before I close, please allow me to share just a few short quotes from Matthew Henry:
THOSE THAT WILL NOT YIELD TO THE FEAR OF GOD SHALL BE MADE TO YIELD TO THE FEAR OF EVERYTHING ELSE.
WE STAND NO LONGER THAN GOD HOLDS US AND GO NO FARTHER THAN HE CARRIES US.
IT IS BETTER TO BE SERVING GOD IN SOLITUDE THAN SERVING SIN IN A MULTITUDE.