Category Archives: John Flavel

“One word of God can do more than ten thousand words of men” by John Flavel

“The Word of God is the only support and relief to a gracious soul in the dark day of affliction (Psalm 119:50, 92; 2 Sam. 23:5). That for this very purpose it was written (Romans 15:4).

No rules of moral prudence, no sensual remedies can perform that for us which the Word can do.

And is not this a sealed truth, attested by a thousand undeniable experiences? Hence have the saints fetched their cordials when fainting under the rod.

One word of God can do more than ten thousand words of men to relieve a distressed soul.”

–John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence, in The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 4: 424.

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“He is bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, a garment to the naked, healing to the wounded” by John Flavel

“There is nothing unlovely found in Him, so all that is in Him is wholly lovely. As every ray of God is precious, so everything that is in Christ is precious: Who can weigh Christ in a pair of balances, and tell you what His worth is?

He is comprehensive of all things that are lovely: He seals up the sum of all loveliness. Things that shine as single stars with a particular glory all meet in Christ as a glorious constellation. ‘It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell,’ (Col. 1:19).

Cast your eyes among all created beings, survey the universe, observe strength in one, beauty in a second, faithfulness in a third, wisdom in a fourth; but you shall find none excelling in them all as Christ does.

He is bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, a garment to the naked, healing to the wounded; and whatever a soul can desire is found in Him (1 Cor. 1:30).”

–John Flavel, The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel Volume 2 (London; Edinburgh; Dublin: W. Baynes and Son; Waugh and Innes; M. Keene, 1820), 2: 216.

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“The conversion of Luke Short” by Michael Boland

“Even a brief glance at Flavel’s history gives some indication of his outstanding character. Of his influence, Wood, the Royalist historian, observes that he had more disciples than either John Owen or Richard Baxter.

One who was intimately acquainted with him, John Galpine of Totnes, draws attention in his memoir of Flavel to three characteristics: his diligence, his longing for the conversion of souls, and his peaceable and healing spirit.

In addition to the incidents recorded in his own writings, there are some remarkable examples of the effects of Flavel’s ministry. Luke Short was a farmer in New England who attained his hundredth year in exceptional vigour though without having sought peace with God.

One day as he sat in his fields reflecting upon his long life, he recalled a sermon he had heard in Dartmouth as a boy before he sailed to America.

The horror of dying under the curse of God was impressed upon him as he meditated on the words he had heard so long ago and he was converted to Christ– eighty-five years after hearing John Flavel preach.”

–Michael Boland, “Introduction” in John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1678/2002), 11.

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“The pivots of history are microscopic” by Charles Spurgeon

“On how small an incident the greatest results may hinge! The pivots of history are microscopic. Hence, it is most important for us to learn that the smallest trifles are as much arranged by the God of providence as the most startling events.

He who counts the stars has also numbered the hairs of our heads. Our lives and deaths are predestinated, but so also are our downsitting and our uprising. Had we but sufficiently powerful perceptive faculties, we should see God’s hand as clearly in each stone of our pathway as in the revolutions of the earth.

In watching our own lives, we may plainly see that, on many occasions, the merest grain has turned the scale. Whereas there seemed to be but a hair’s-breadth between one course of action and another, yet that hair’s-breadth has sufficed to direct the current of our life.

‘He,’ says Flavel, ‘who will observe providences shall never be long without a providence to observe.’

Providence may be seen as the finger of God, not merely in those events which shake nations, and are duly emblazoned on the page of history, but in little incidents of common life, ay, in the motion of a grain of dust, the trembling of a dew-drop, the flight of a swallow, or the leaping of a fish.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. LIV (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1908), 25-26.

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