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Bitesize Biography – Matthew Henry

By Philip Eveson
January 2014 | Review by Kerry Orchard
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • ISBN: 978-0-85234-799-7
  • Pages: 128
  • Price: 5.99
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Book Review

Bitesize Biography — Matthew Henry
Philip H. Eveson
EP Books, 128 pages, £5.99
ISBN: 978-0-85234-799-7
Star Rating : 4

I was glad to read this book, because Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible has been a favourite resource for my quiet times and personal Bible study, and for sermon preparation.

I remember reading that George Whitefield read Matthew Henry’s Commentary daily on his knees. It’s the sort of reading that produces spiritual giants. I have always appreciated Henry’s warmth, clarity, generosity and down-to-earth application.

Philip Eveson’s portrait provides an excellent introduction to the great man’s life and work. What is particularly helpful to the reader is the background to life in seventeenth and early eighteenth century England.

Despite writing with such spiritual serenity Matthew Henry lived and wrote in difficult times. He did not live through great revival, but during the times of the later Puritans. It was a time of real persecution for Dissenters, including Matthew Henry and his father Philip.

Indeed, Philip was one of the many ministers ejected from the Church of England for failing to conform to the state’s unbiblical demands. Matthew also passed through deep waters of personal suffering. His first wife died as a young woman and several of his children died in infancy. He knew periods of agony of soul, partly brought on by his great popularity as a preacher and pastor.

The writing style of this little introduction is clear and unaffected and the chapters short and easy to read. I sincerely hope that Philip Eveson’s fine little book will whet the appetite of a new generation of readers, who will also benefit from Matthew Henry’s timeless spirituality.

Kerry Orchard
Cardiff

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