Henry Alford, D.D., Dean of Canterbury, one of the most variously-accomplished churchmen of his day -- poet, preacher, painter, musician, biblical scholar, critic, and philologist -- came of a Somersetshire family, five generations of which, in direct succession, contributed clergymen of some distinction to the English Church. The earliest of these, his great-great-grandfather, Thomas, who died in 1708, was for many years the vicar of Curry Rivell, near Taunton -- a living that passed from one to another of his descendants.
Alford was a talented artist, as his picture-book, The Riviera (1870), shows, and he had abundant musical and mechanical talent. Besides editing the works of John Donne, he published several volumes of his own verse, The School of the Heart (1835), The Abbot of Muchelnaye (1841), The Greek Testament. The Four Gospels (1849), and a number of hymns, the best-known of which are "Forward! be our watchword," "Come, ye thankful people, come," and "Ten thousand times ten thousand."
His chief fame rests on his monumental edition of the New Testament in Greek (4 vols.), which occupied him from 1841 to 1861. In this work he first produced a careful collation of the readings of the chief manuscripts and the researches of the ripest continental scholarship of his day. Philological rather than theological in character, it marked an epochal change from the old homiletic commentary, and though more recent research, patristic and papyral, has largely changed the method of New Testament exegesis, Alford's work is still a quarry where the student can dig with a good deal of profit.
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The State of the Blessed Dead: Sermon 1
I have already announced that during this Advent season I would call your attention to the state of the blessed dead. My object in so doing is simply that we may recall to ourselves that which Scripture has revealed respecting them, for our edification, and for our personal comfort. And I would guard that which will be said by one or two preliminar ...read
The State of the Blessed Dead: Sermon 2
We stand to-day at this point in our consideration of the state of the blessed dead. They depart, and are with Christ. "This day," the day of the departure, they are consciously, blissfully, in His presence. Their faith is turned into sight: their misgivings are changed for certainty: their mourning for joy. Yet, we said, their state is necessarily ...read
The State of the Blessed Dead: Sermon 3
We have traced the condition of the blessed dead, from their departure and being with Christ, to the glorious day of the resurrection. Their spirits are safe in His keeping, till that day when He shall call their bodies out of the graves, and they shall be once more complete in manhood, body, soul, and spirit. And our present consideration is, What ...read
The State of the Blessed Dead: Sermon 4
We are to speak to-day of the final state of bliss of those who have died in the Lord. Their state of waiting has ended; the resurrection has clothed them again with the body, the final judgment has passed over them, and their last unending state has begun. There are no words in Holy Scripture so well calculated to give a general summary of that st ...read