“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.