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TH E account of the life and death of this very excellent man was drawn up by his no less cele-r brated and excellent Ion, the rev. Matthew Henry, (author of the Annotations on the Bible) aiid was first published in the year 1698. The piece itself is written in so true a strain of evangelical piety, and so just a temper of mode-; ration, that, were it not for its great length, we shpuld not deny our Readers the gratification of reprinting the whole; as by extracting from and abridging it, we must necessarily omit many circumstances highly useful and instructive. We will, however, give our Readers as much. of it, as can possibly consist with our plan.
Mr. Philip Henry was born at Whitehall, in Westminster, on Wednesday, August 24, 1631. His father's name was "John Henry, the son of Henry WiUiamsj of Briton s Ferry, near Sivanzea, in Glamorgan/hire; and the father's christian name became the son's surname, according to the old Welch custom. In his youth he was brought to court by the earl of Pembroke, and, in course of time, was made page of the back-stairs to the king's second son, James duke of York. He lived and died a courtier, a hearty mourner for his royal master K. Charles I. whom he did not long survive.
Mr. Philip Henrys mother was a very pious woman, and took great pains with him and her other children tp bring them up in the fear of the Lord. A little before
she fiie died, in 1645, she had this faying; ' My head is in
• heaven, and my heart is in heaven: It is but one step
* more, and I shall be there too."
In 1643, about the twelfth year of his age, he was admitted into Westminster school under the great Dr. Busby, of whom he became a great favorite, both for his proficiency in learning, and his amiable and decent deportment. He was employed by the doctor, with some other ingenious youths, to collect, in their reading of the Greek authors, fome of the materials for that excellent Greek grammar, which the doctor afterwards published;
On the 17th of May, 1647, he was chosen from Westminster school to Christ's-Chureh College in Oxford, jure loci, being then in his sixteenth year, and entered there in the December following. He was admitted student in Alarch, 1648, under the famous Dr. Hammond, then sub dean, who called him his god-brother, the earl of Pembroke being god-father to both.
Here he duly performed the college exercises, disputations, t*tc. every day, in term time; themes and verses once a week, and declamations when it came to his turn; in which performances he frequently came off with great applause: And many of his manuscripts, which remain, ihew how well he improved his time there.
And yet in some reflections I find under his hand (continues his pious son) written long after (wherein he looks back upon his early days) he chargeth it upon himself, that for a good while after he went to the university (though he was known not to he inferior to any of his standing in public exercises yet) he was too much a stranger to that hard study, which afterwards he became acquainted with, and that he lost a deal of time which might have been better improved. Thus he is pleased to accuse himself of that, which (for aught I ever heard) no one else did, or could accuse him ot. Hut the truth is, in all the secret accounts he kept of himself, he appears to have had a verv quick and deep fense of his own failings and infirmities in the most minute instances, the loss of time, weakness and distractions in holy duties; not improving opportunities of doing good to others, and the like; lamentably bewailing these imperfections, and charging them upon himself, with as great expressions of shame and sorrow, and self-abhorrence; and crying out as earnestly for pardon and forgiveness in the blood of Jesus; as if he had been the greatest of sinners: For though he was a man that walked very closely, yet he walked very
humbly with GOD, and lived a life of repentance ana self-denial.
At the latter end of the year 1648, he had leave given him to make a visit to his father at Whitehall. , with whom he stayed some time; there he was "January 30th, when K. Charles was beheaded, and, with a very fad heart, he saw that tragical blow given.
In the year 1651, he took his bachelor of art's degree } and he hath recorded the goodness of GOD, in railing him tip friends, who helped him out in the expences. Such kindnesses have a peculiar sweetness in them to a good man, who fees and receives themj as the kindness of GOD, and as tokens of his love.
In December 1652, he proceeded master of arts, and in "January following preached his first sermon at South-HbikJey, near Oxford, on John viii. 34. Whosoever committetb jin, is the servant of Jin. On this occasion he writes in his Diary, what was the breathing of his heart towards GOD. "The Lord make use of trie, as an instrument "of his glory, and his church's good, in this high and "holy calling!"
His great parts and improvements, notwithstanding his extraordinary modesty and humility, had made him so well known in the university, that, at the following act in July 1653, he was chosen, out of all the masters of that vear, to be junior of the Acl, that is, to answer the philosophy-questions in vefperiis, which he did with very great applause.
He noted of some pious, young men, thatj before they removed from the university into the country, they kept a day of fasting and humiliation for the sins they had been guilty of in that place and state. And in the visits he made afterwards to the university, he inserts into his book, as no doubt GOD did into his.—" A tear draft 11 ever my university jins"
To this testimony of his son, we may add that of another great divine. 'Mr. Henry (fays Dr. Bates) was 1 dedicated to the service of GOD by his mother in his * tender age. His first love and desires (when he was ca'pable of making a judicious choice) were set upon GOD/ In the year 1653, soon after he had taken his master's degree, he was called to assist in the cure of Worthenbury parish by the river Dee in Flintshire, under the patronage of Mr. Puleston, a serjeant at law. Mr. Henry gives A very amiable character of this gentleman and his lady, and mentions, with great gratitude, his particular obligations