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xxviii PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
added a correct acquaintance with several modern
Especially with the originals of Holy Scripture, and the writings of the Fathers, he was quite familiar. In a word, he was an honour and ornament to his profession; an complished divine. His devoted zeal for the souls of men, and his pure evangelical sentiments, will be most affectingly disclosed by the present volume, and one or two other posthumous publications. His inestimable worth as a pastor is best attested by the heart-breaking, inconsolable grief of his bereaved congregation. But the crowning excellence of his character consisted in an entire self-consecration, with all his endowments and energies, to the blessed Redeemer ; and a deep experience of the power of religion. Thus he was rendered a rich blessing in his life, and richly blessed in his death. And when every earthly hope was extinguished, a light from above irradiated the valley of death's shadow, and he could enter it saying, “O death, where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory!”
Some Account of the Character and the Dying
Moments of the late Rev. Thomas Charlton Henry, D. D. by the Rev. Thomas Lewis.
The dispensations of Divine Providence are never perhaps so mysterious to us as in the removal of zealous, devoted, and useful ministers of Christ, in the prime of their days; and when, to all appearance, they are in the
midst of their most efficient labours. In such cases we are ready to exclaim, “ Clouds and darkness are round about him!” But it is matter of rejoicing that we are taught to add,
Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.” – Who then shall say unto him, “ What doest thou ?”
The choice of instruments, the allotment of their work, and the limitation of their service, are, and must be, the prerogative of God. When He removes an able and active servant from his labours to his rest, his surviving fellow-servants may look and wonder; they may even repine at their bereavement: but the MASTER is wise and good, and the great work He has in hand will be found not only to have suffered no detriment, but to be progressively advanced by all that he is doing among the children of esteemed friend the Rev. Dr. Codman, of Dorchester, New England. Having the highest respect for the testimony of Dr. Codman, in favour of his American brother, I very readily gave him the right-hand of fellowship on his arrival in these parts. ' I soon found reason to be delighted with my new acquaintance, and could not be too thankful to the individual who had procured me the company and conversation of one so eminent for piety and devotedness to God.
The Rev. THOMAS CHARLTON HENRY, D. D. was introduced to me in the summer of 1826, by my
As he was a stranger in a strange land, I felt it my duty to devote as much time as I could spare from the urgent duties of my office to his service; and I was amply repaid by his interesting communications and occasional exercises in the sanctuary. After a short but well-improved season in London, he expressed a strong desire to visit the Isle of Wight. This had been excited chiefly by the fame which the History of the Dairyman's Daughter, who lived and died in that island, had acquired in America. He was well aware of the very salutary and happy effects which the perusal of that tract, from the elegant pen of the late Reverend, and universally lamented, Legh Richmond, had produced there; and wished to be gratified with a view of the cottage and the surrounding scenery, so beautifully described in that interesting narrative. He accordingly set out on this journey, having another christian friend and myself for his companions. In our constant intercourse during this tour, we had frequent occasion to admire the heavenly and devotional frame of his mind, his warm attachment to the service of his Lord and Master, and his zealous efforts to promote his glory. No seasonable opportunity of dropping a word for Him in whose service he was engaged, was suffered to escape; so that, whether we walked or rode by the way, conversed with friends or strangers, or sat still in the house, it was evident that he had one object in view to be about his Master's business in promoting the good of souls.
He was delighted with the beautiful and romantic scenery of the island, forming, as he would often observe, a contrast with the bold and rugged exhibitions of nature in his own land. But he was one of so heavenly a mind, that he always looked through nature up to nature's God, and was never diverted from his main concern. He saw God in all, and aimed at making every thing around, and every thing that occurred, tell to some account for the best interests of men. He watched for opportunities of usefulness, and once and again did my friend and I mark the anxiety imprinted on the countenance, and the tears trickling down the cheeks of those whom he would accost upon the road, and with whom he would stop and speak on the state of their souls, and their meetness for another world. He was indeed “ instant in season, and out of season,” never losing sight of the duties of his office; and there is reason to hope, that his public ministrations in these parts have left impressions which will not be speedily effaced. There were traits in Dr. Henry's character which could not fail to be discovered by every intelligent observer, who had the opportunity of seeing him during his visit to this land. He especially possessed the following distinguished excellencies :
Warm and steady attachment to the friends of the
Redeemer, arising from supreme and ardent love to the Redeemer himself, who so loved the church as to give himself for it. With these friends he seemed to be at home. He recognized them as his brothers and sisters, in the family of Christ. His conversation among them was marked by a spirituality and heavenly mindedness, which contributed much to their individual delight and edification. It was pleasing also to observe how he sought to add to his intellectual stores, and to collect all the information he could obtain respecting the state of religion amongst the different denominations in Britain, and the manner in which our different societies are conducted. This information he repaid, by freely communicating what he knew of the state and progress of religion in the American churches, and of the manner in which the revivals that have taken place among them had commenced, and been carried on; and by pressing home an immediate and unremitting attention to the all-important interests of eternity.
Ardent zeal for the highest interests of mankind. This he displayed in embracing every opportunity afforded for instruction in righteousness. He was one of those that looked around upon the face of the earth, and saw its fallen inhabitants involved in sin and misery, labouring under the curse, and living under the condemnation of a broken law. He beheld them under these awful circumstances, dropping into a fearful eternity; and he considered himself as existing only to be instrumental in snatching some of them
brands out of the burning.” Incessant and laborious devotedness to his Master's work. He did not live to himself. In labours he