The Pleasantness of a Religious Life was Matthew Henry’s final literary work; it was in the process of being printed when he died in 1714. In it he examines the great joys of the Christian life by expounding upon Proverbs 3:17, “[Wisdom’s] ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”
Rather than being a bleak and burdensome business, Matthew Henry’s clear teaching shows how “religion brings both pleasure with it, and profit after it,” and argues that the difficulties met with on the journey of faith are not worthy of being compared to the joyful recompense which our God and King rewards us with along the way and at our final resting place in his kingdom. Thus “the practice of serious godliness not only tends to our happiness in the next life, but is also greatly conducive to our comfort in this life,” for we learn that, “the more we live with an eye to Christ and another world, the more comfort we are likely to have in our hearts.”
Pastor Henry also unmasks the counterfeit pleasures this world attempts to use to cheat us out of pleasures that are both satisfying indeed and eternally durable—for the world’s sensual pleasures are bland to those who have tasted the sweetness of the Lord, and felt the lightness and rest which is to be found under his yoke.
Far from a copy-paste-publish e-book, this edition has been painstakingly edited into an entirely new text which has been gently modernized for today’s reader, while still retaining the flavor and character of the original manuscript. To aid the reader, over four hundred Scripture references (in the ESV) have been embedded into the text as hyperlinked end-notes (no internet connection is required).