Category Archives: John Flavel

“A most weighty argument” by John Flavel

He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all; how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?’ (Romans 8:32)

“This Scripture contains a most weighty argument to encourage and confirm the faith of Christians in the expectation of all spiritual and temporal mercies.

It proceeds from the greater to the less affirmatively: He that delivered His Son for us, what can He deny us after such a gift? Every word hath its weight.

God delivered up His Son, His own Son, how dear whatsoever He was unto Him, to humiliation, contradiction of sinners, to all sorrows and temptations, yea, to death, and that of the cross, and all this for us, for us sinners, for us enemies to God, for us unlovely wretches.

“How shall He not with Him freely give us all things?”

How is it imaginable that God should withhold, after this, spirituals or temporals, from His people?

How shall He not call them effectually, justify them freely, sanctify them thoroughly, and glorify them eternally?

How shall He not clothe them, feed them, protect and deliver them?

Surely if He would not spare to His own Son one stroke, one tear, one groan, one sigh, one circumstance of misery, it can never be imagined that ever He should, after this, deny or withhold from His people, for whose sakes all this was suffered, any mercies, any comforts, any privilege, spiritual or temporal, which is good for them, and needful to them.”

–John Flavel, “The Sixth Meditation on Romans 8:32,” The Works of the John Flavel, Volume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 6: 417-418.

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“The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the Scriptures” by John Flavel

“The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the Scriptures; the scope and center of all divine revelations: both Testaments meet in Christ.

The ceremonial law is full of Christ, and all the gospel is full of Christ: the blessed lines of both Testaments meet in Him.

And how they both harmonize, and sweetly concentrate on Jesus Christ, is the chief scope of that excellent epistle to the Hebrews. For we may call that epistle the sweet harmony of both Testaments.

The right knowledge of Jesus Christ, like a clue, leads you through the whole labyrinth of the Scriptures.”

–John Flavel, The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 1: 34.

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“There is no doctrine more excellent in itself than the doctrine of Jesus Christ” by John Flavel

“There is no doctrine more excellent in itself, or more necessary to be preached and studied, than the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

All other knowledge, how much soever it be magnified in the world, is, and ought to be esteemed but dross, in comparison to the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

–John Flavel, The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 1: 34.

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“Eternity itself cannot fully unfold Him” by John Flavel

“Though something of Christ be unfolded in one age, and something in another, yet eternity itself cannot fully unfold Him.

I see something, said Luther, which blessed Augustine saw not; and those that come after me, will see that which I see not.

It is in the studying of Christ, as in the planting of a new discovered country.

At first men sit down by the sea-side, upon the skirts and borders of the land. And there they dwell, but by degrees they search farther and farther into the heart of the country.

Ah, the best of us are yet but upon the borders of this vast continent!”

–John Flavel, The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 1: 36.

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“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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