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Rev. MATTHEW HENRY, V. D. M.
An example,--in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
CORRECTED AND ENLARGED
By J. B. WILLIAMS, F. S. A.
18, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD.
1825 PRE FACE
THE PRESENT EDITIO N.
In presenting to the publick a new edition of the Life of that “wise, good, and truly wonderful man, Mr. Philip Henry,"* the editor cannot forbear to state, that early and established prepossessions have powerfully concurred in its production.
The published work has been long distinguished by special approbation. Sir James Stonhouse designated it his “ favourite piece of biography.”+ Dr. Doddridge “often spoke of it as affording him much instruction and encouragement.” I By another writer it is represented, as “one of the most instructive and interesting pieces of religious biography ever written.”S Mr. Chalmers pointedly notices “the piety, christian moderation, and good sense, which pervade the whole.” || And, by a late
• Life of the Rev. T. Rosewell, p. 20, oct. 1718. + Letters from the Rev. Job Orton, and the Rev. Sir James Stonhouse, Bart. M.D. to the Rev. Thomas Stedman, M. A. Vicar of St. Chad's, Shrewsbury, ed. 1805, vol. 2, p. 300; and see also, vol. 1, p. 171, note.
Life, by Orton, p. 63, oct. 1766.
Eclectic Review, N. S. vol. 7, p. 273. | Gen. Biog. Dict. vol. 17, p. 361, by Alexander Chalmers, F. S. A.
revered friend, Dr. Edward Williams, it is appropriately characterized, “ a beautiful delineation of primitive christianity, and the power of godliness, where social religion and personal holiness are drawn to the life, and eminently manifested; where, in a word, the doctrine of the life of God in the soul of man, derives a striking proof, and a venerable sanction."*
Judicious friends have repeatedly suggested to the writer, that existing manuscripts might be so selected, and incorporated with the work, as still to increase the estimation of this edifying volume, and have urged him to undertake the service. The materials in his possession, and within his reach, frequently disposed him to comply. Of late, various occurrences have served to engage his attention to it more fixedly, and the supply of numerous relicks afforded a stimulus to the undertaking.
The whole seemed to form a deposit so favourable to the object, that, if attendant difficulties were not insurmountable, the obligation to publish was rendered imperative.
Indeed, had the task been declined, might not the editor have incurred an imputation of selfishness, for improperly hoarding treasure so calculated for general usefulness? These, and other considerations, determined him to commence the work, and to proceed with it as quickly as constant professional engagements would allow.
In the “ Entire Collection of Mr. Matthew Henry's Writings,” † the Life of his father was inserted.
* Preface to Morrice's Social Religion Exemplified, p. xv. ed. 1786.
+ In seven volumes, 4to. 1811, edited by the Rev. George Burder, and the Rev. Joseph Hughes, A. M.