Monday, July 2, 2012

Book Review: Matthew Henry: His Life and Influence

Matthew Henry: His Life and Influence. By Allan Harman. Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications. pp. 208. 2012. ($14.99 Print | $9.99 Digital)

««««« Five Stars
Matthew Henry was a talented and intelligent man, and his voluminous writing has left a great impact on the lives of many of those who’ve influenced our own spiritual walk. Many of his works are available free online in digital formats. Yet Henry, like many other writers of bygone days, receives less attention than he should.

Allan Harman’s book introduced me to the man behind the books, and to the story behind the man. The faithfulness of Christians who lived before him influenced Henry’s spiritual walk, and he, in turn, has influenced many others. Harman’s biography renewed my appreciation for people like Matthew Henry and his father, Philip Henry, and I’m even more inspired to reread some classic Christian writings.

Matthew Henry was an interesting man and the life he lived was a full one. His family endured through many trials. His father suffered religious persecution, even spending time in prison, while the whole family mourned the untimely death of close family members. Henry himself lost his first wife to illness and was a single father for a year before remarrying. He lost children to illness, and gained children through adopting his nieces and nephews after his sister passed away. Yet through it all he remained faithful to God. This is a life we can learn from.

Not many books are made to endure. Many of the books I read as a teenager are now out of print and teenagers today have never heard of them, much less read them. And this is in less than a decade! Yet Henry’s works will still be read long after I’m gone, and I’m grateful to Harman for introducing me not just to Henry’s works, but to his life as well.

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.

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