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John Flavel

Puritan theologian

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Summary

John Flavel (1630?–1691), was an English Presbyterian divine. Flavel, the eldest son of the Rev. Richard Flavel, described as ‘a painful and eminent minister,’ who was incumbent successively of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, Hasler and Willersey, Gloucestershire (from which last living he was ejected in 1662), was born in or about 1630 at Bromsgrove.

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1630
1691
Christian life, Consolation, Early works, Ethics, Jesus Christ
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Biography

 John Flavel
Source: Wikipedia

Flavel was born at Bromsgrove in Wordesterchire. He was the elder son of Richard Flavel, described in contemporary records as "a painful and eminent minister." After receiving his early education, partly at home and partly at the grammar-schools of Bromsgrove and Haslar, he entered University College, Oxford. Soon after taking orders in 1650 he obtained a curacy at Diptford, Devon, and on the death of the vicar he was appointed to succeed him. From Diptford he removed in 1656 to Dartmouth. He was ejected from his living by the passing of the Act of Uniformity in 1662, but continued to preach and administer the sacraments privately till the Five Mile Act of 1665, when he retired to Slapton, 5 miles away. He then lived for a time in London, but returned to Dartmouth, where he labored till his death in 1691. He was married four times. He was a vigorous and voluminous writer, and not without a play of fine fancy.

His principal works are his Navigation Spiritualized (1671); The Fountain of Life, in forty-two Sermons (1672); The Method of Grace (1680); Pneumatologia, a Treatise on the Soul of Man (1698); A Token for Mourners; Husbandry Spiritualized (1699).

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Works by John Flavel

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Flavel introduces his text with these words from the Song of Solomon: “Yes, He is altogether lovely.” Within these few pages, Flavel meditates on all the ways in which Christ reveals his beauty, majesty, righteousness, love, and total perfection. The style of his prose reflects the worshipful content of his meditations. Even today these words move readers to wonder and awe at God’s glory. In describing their reaction to reading the book, some have used such words as “soaring,” “marvelous,” and “precious.”

Theologian John Flavel was a 15th century Puritan living in England. He was a prolific writer, and produced at least 10 major works. Fountain of Life Opened Up is a collection of 42 of his sermons, most of which focus on the life, work, and importance of Christ. Flavel's writing is often grandiose, giving his words a sense of great importance. He follows the typical Puritan style of prose, so his sermons will surely take a lot of thought on the part of the reader, but they ultimately exhibit a mastery of the subject of Christ and will be useful for those looking for deep theology on the subject. This edition also includes an index of scripture and commentaries cited, which is helpful for the student of Flavel.

External Work.
100 editions published.

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Over the course of his life, John Flavel, the 15th century English Puritan, wrote hundreds of sermons and several major devotional books, including The Method of Grace in the Gospel Redemption and Christ Altogether Lovely. The brief text provided here is Flavel’s obituary. It tells the story of his life, celebrating his mind, piety, and charity.

Flavel’s book explores salvation’s transformative effects on the heart. In the first two of the book’s five sections, Flavel describes how Christ and the Holy Spirit prepare a person to receive God’s saving grace. Following this, he describes how truly convicting the effects of the preparation can be, and how this conviction leads people to emerge stronger after struggling through despair and guilt. Overall, The Method of Grace is a wakeup call. Flavel challenges Christians to examine themselves and, instead of hiding them, let their wrongdoings horrify them so that they may truly appreciate God’s mercy, grace, and love.

External Work.
6 editions published.

View on: WorldCat | Amazon

In this 17th century treatise, Flavel lays out an extensive biblical and theological account of the human soul. He touches on problems concerning the soul’s immortality, how the soul and the body connect with each other, and the ethical questions that flow out of these problems. Following St. Augustine, he argues that the temporality of the body and the eternality of the soul should naturally press Christians to chase after the eternal only, and forsake carnal pleasure in excess. In general, Flavel’s arguments follow a reinterpretation of Christian tradition through the lens of the then scandalous English Reformed faith.

Flavel designed this devotional treatise to aid all professing Christians in exploring their faith and cleansing their lives of sin. He takes his inspiration from Proverbs 4:23, which reads: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Flavel explains that “keeping the heart” means not only keeping it away from evil, but also keeping it as one keeps a garden, nurturing it. Just as a gardener must plant according to the seasons, so also must one keep the heart in different ways across the seasons of human life. In the latter half of his treatise, Flavel offers advice for doing just that.

External Work.
12 editions published.

View on: WorldCat | Amazon

External Work.
68 editions published.

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External Work.
5 editions published.

View on: WorldCat | Amazon

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