Matthew Henry’s Move to Hackney in 1712
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Whereas calls were usually disposed of in a short space of time, the one from Mare Street Chapel in Hackney to Matthew Henry took twenty-three months. The difficulty lay with Matthew Henry himself. He vacillated, alternately wishing to accept the call and then wishing to remain with his beloved congregation in Chester. Pressured from both sides, he tried to withdraw his acceptance of the call, but the people at Hackney held him to his word. Before leaving Chester, he was an ill man, but he drove himself to be a faithful pastor at Hackney while trying to finish his Exposition of Holy Scripture and serve the wider dissenting community in London. Kidney stones and late-onset diabetes seriously affected him, distorting his decision making and ultimately bringing about his death after just two years of ministry in Hackney.
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