Quotes by Matthew Henry
It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our last day.
The three qualifications of a good surgeon are requisite in a reprover: He should have an eagle’s eye, a lion’s heart, and a ladies hand; in short, he should be endued with wisdom courage and meekness.
If men’s religion prevails not to conquer and cure the wickedness of their hearts, it shall not always serve for a cloak. The day is coming when hypocrites will be stripped of their fig-leaves.
None can know their election but by their conformity to Christ; for all who are chosen are chosen to sanctification.
You have been used to take notice of the sayings of dying men. This is mine: that a life spent in the service of God, and communion with Him, is the most comfortable and pleasant life that anyone can live in this world.
You may as soon find a living man who does not breathe, as a living Christian who does not pray.
[Sunday is] a privilege and a benefit, not a task and a drudgery.
The worse men are, the less they are bound by oaths; the better they are, the less there is need for them. Our Lord does not enjoin the precise terms wherein we are to affirm or deny, but such a constant regard to truth as would render oaths unnecessary.
Those who have a saving interest in Christ must be willing to part with all for Him, leave all to follow Him. Whatever stands in opposition to Christ, or in completion with Him for our love and service, we must cheerfully quit it, though ever so dear to us.
We prevail with men by impudence because they are displeased with it, but with God because he is pleased with it.
The frequent requiring and using of oaths, is a poor reflection on Christians, who should be of such acknowledged fidelity, as that their sober words should be as sacred as their solemn oaths.
Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind.
What peace can they have who are not at peace with God?
To wait on God is to live a life of desire toward Him, delight in Him, dependence on Him, and devotedness to Him.
It is required of us that we be tender of the good name of our brethren; where we cannot speak well, we had better say nothing than speak evil; we must not take pleasure in making known the faults of others, divulging things that are secret, merely to expose them, nor in making more of their known faults than really they deserve, and, least of all, in making false stories, and spreading things concerning them of which they are altogether innocent. What is this but to raise the hatred and encourage the persecutions of the world, against those who are engaged in the same interests with ourselves, and therefore with whom we ourselves must stand or fall?
A lion in God’s cause must be a lamb in his own.
Those who are not saints on earth will never be saints in heaven.
If the solemnities of our fasting, though frequent, long, and severe, do not serve to put an edge upon devout affections, to quicken prayer, to increase Godly sorrow, and to alter the temper of our minds, and the course of our lives, for the better, they do not at all answer the intention, and God will not accept them as performed to Him.
As secret worship is better the more secret it is, so public worship is better the more public it is.
Come, and see the victories of the cross. Christ’s wounds are thy healings, His agonies thy repose, His conflicts thy conquests, His groans thy songs, His pains thine ease, His shame thy glory, His death thy life, His sufferings thy salvation.
He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his feet into the grave.
When we take least notice of our good deeds ourselves, God takes most notice of them.
Many mourn for their sins that do not truly repent of them, weep bitterly for them, and yet continue in love and league with them.
Tears are a tribute to our deceased friends. When the body is sown, it must be watered. But we must not sorrow as those that have no hope; for we have a good hope through grace both concerning them and concerning ourselves.
It is better to get wisdom than gold. Gold is another’s, wisdom is our own; gold is for the body and time, wisdom for the soul and eternity.
If we make an idol of any creature, wealth, or pleasure, or honour – if we place our happiness in it, and promise ourselves the comfort and satisfaction in it which are to be had in God only – if we make it our joy and love, our hope and confidence, we shall find it a cistern, which we take a great deal of pains to hew out and fill, and at the best it will hold but a little water, and that dead and flat, and soon corrupting and becoming nauseous (Jer. 2:23).
No attribute of God is more dreadful to sinners than his holiness.
Those that disobey the commandments of God do so foolishly for themselves. Sin is folly, and sinners are the greatest fools.
The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to His Word and to His rod, who follow His directions, and comply with His designs, and are gentle toward all men.
Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it.
There is a burden of care in getting riches; fear of keeping them; temptation in using them; guilt of abusing them; sorrow in losing them; and a burden of account at last to be given concerning them.
Those that boast most of the religion may be suspected of partiality and hypocrisy in it.
Peace is such a precious jewel that I would give anything for it but truth.
The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to top him, nor out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved by him.
He is much happier that is always content, though he has ever so little, than he that is always coveting, though he has ever so much.
Address thyself to the worship of God with a solemn pause, and take time to compose thyself for it, not going about it with precipitation, which is called hasting with the feet (Pro. 19:2). Keep thy thought from roving and wandering from the work; keep thy affections from running out towards wrong objects, for in the business of God’s house there is work enough for the whole man, and all too little to be employed… When we are in the house of God, we are in a special manner before God and in His presence, there where He has promised to meet His people, where His eye is upon us and ours ought to be unto Him
[Children] are capable of honoring God now, if they be well taught; and by their joining, as they can, in religious services with so much reverence and application as their age will admit, God is honored. The hosannas even of children well taught will be the perfecting of praise and highly pleasing to the Lord Jesus.
To Christians heaven is a house, a dwelling-place, a resting place, their everlasting home, their Father’s house where there are many mansions. It is a house in the heavens that as far excels the palaces of this earth as the heavens are high above the earth. It is a city whose builder and maker is God, and it is eternal in the heavens. The most marvelous thing about it is that God has prepared it for those who love Him.
Christ’s followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had.
All the grace contained in [the Bible] is owing to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior; and, unless we consent to Him as our Lord we cannot expect any benefit by Him as our Savior.
If we would be angry and not sin (says one), we must be angry at nothing but sin; and we should be more jealous for the glory of God than for any interest or reputation of our own.
The first lesson in Christ’s school is self-denial.
When the law of God is written in our hearts, our duty will be our delight.
Idleness gives great advantage to the tempter. Standing waters gather filth.
Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.
The best evidence of our having the truth is our walking in the truth.
We are too apt to rest in a bare profession of faith, and to think that this will save us; it is a cheap and easy religion to say, “We believe in the articles of the Christian faith;” but it is a great delusion to imagine that this is enough to bring us to heaven.
The devil visits idle men with his temptations. God visits industrious men with His favors.
If therefore our houses be houses of the Lord, we shall for that reason love home, reckoning our daily devotion the sweetest of our daily delights; and our family-worship the most valuable of our family-comforts… A church in the house will be a good legacy, nay, it will be a good inheritance, to be left to your children after you.
It is common for those that are farthest from God, to boast themselves most of their being near to the Church.
The way to preserve the peace of the church is to preserve the purity of it.
When we are out of the way of duty, we are in the way of temptation.
The Scriptures were written, not to make us astronomers, but to make us saints.
It is a good thing to have a heart within us smiting us for sins that seem little; it is a sign that conscience is awake and tender, and will be the means of preventing greater sins.
The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure and consistent, notwithstanding her failures.
The greatest and best man in the world must say, By the grace of God I am what I am, but God says absolutely… “I am that I am.”
Masters of families, who preside in the other affairs of the house, must go before their households in the things of God.They must be as prophets, priests, and kings in their own families; and as such they must keep up family-doctrine, family-worship, and family-discipline: then is there a church in the house, and this is the family religion I am persuading you to.
“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice” (Phi 4:4). All our joy must terminate in God; and our thoughts of God must be delightful thoughts. Delight thyself in the Lord (Psm. 37:4)… Observe, it is our duty and privilege to rejoice in God, and to rejoice in Him always; at all times, in all conditions; even when we suffer for Him, or are afflicted by Him. We must not think the worse of Him or of His ways for the hardships we meet with in His service. There is enough in God to furnish us with matter of joy in the worst circumstance on earth… Joy in God is a duty of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it.
Grace does not run in the blood, but corruption does. A sinner begets a sinner, but a saint does not beget a saint.
As God’s mercies are new every morning toward His people, so His anger is new every morning against the wicked.