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John Flavel

John Flavel

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John Flavel was an English Presbyterian
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 clergyman and author.


Flavel was born at Bromsgrove
Bromsgrove is a town in Worcestershire, England. The town is about north east of Worcester and south west of Birmingham city centre. It had a population of 29,237 in 2001 with a small ethnic minority and is in Bromsgrove District.- History :Bromsgrove is first documented in the early 9th century...

, Worcestershire
Worcestershire is a non-metropolitan county, established in antiquity, located in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three counties that comprise the "Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire" NUTS 2 region...

 and studied at Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

. Ordained as a Presbyterian in 1650, though later a Congregationalist, he held livings at Diptford (in Devon) and Dartmouth
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth is a town and civil parish in the English county of Devon. It is a tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria that runs inland as far as Totnes...

. He was ejected from the latter as a result of the Great Ejection
Act of Uniformity 1662
The Act of Uniformity was an Act of the Parliament of England, 13&14 Ch.2 c. 4 ,The '16 Charles II c. 2' nomenclature is reference to the statute book of the numbered year of the reign of the named King in the stated chapter...

 of 1662; however, he continued to preach there secretly. After the Declaration of Indulgence
Declaration of Indulgence
The Declaration of Indulgence was two proclamations made by James II of England and VII of Scotland in 1687. The Indulgence was first issued for Scotland on 12 February, and then for England on 4 April 1687...

 1687, he became a minister of a Nonconformist Church there.

He was a prolific and popular author. Among his works are The Mystery of Providence (1678), Husbandry Spiritualised (1669) and Navigation Spiritualised (1671), The Seaman's Companion (1676), titles which suggest some of his characteristics as a writer.

He died at Exeter
Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district, and is therefore under the administration of the...

, Devonshire, on 26 June 1691.
Flavel is commerorated in the name of Flavel Road on Bromsgrove's Charford Estate.


  • "It is the duty of the saints, especially in times of straights, to reflect upon the performances of Providence for them in all the states and through all the stages of their lives".
    • The Mystery of Providence

  • "When God gives you comforts, it is your great evil not to observe His hand in them."
    • The Mystery of Providence

  • "They foresaw that the concession of a Providence would impose an eternal yoke upon their necks, by making them accountable for all they did to a higher tribunal, so that they must necessarily 'pass the time of their sojourning here in fear', while all their thoughts, words and ways were strictly noted and recorded, for the purpose of an account by an all-seeing and righteous God. They therefore laboured to persuade themselves that what they had no mind for did not exist."
    • The Mystery of Providence

  • The greatest difficulty in conversion is to win the heart to God and after conversion to keep it with Him.
    • A Saint Indeed

  • The Works of John Flavel, Vol.1, "A Display of Christ in His Essential and Mediatorial Glory", 42 Sermons, Sermon Number 3, "The Covenant of Redemption between the Father and the Redeemer", Use 6


  • The best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, the most profitable way of dying is all taught us in the Holy Scriptures.

  • Guilt is to danger, what fire is to gunpowder; a man need not fear to walk among many barrels of powder, if he have no fire about him.


  • Works of John Flavel (6 vol set), Banner of Truth Trust, ISBN 0-85151-060-4.
  • The Fountain of Life Opened Up Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846857980
  • Husbandry Spiritualised (1669)
  • Keeping The Heart Diggory Press ISBN 978-1846857072
  • The Method of Grace in the Gospel Redemption - accessed 26 July 2008
  • Navigation Spiritualised (1671)
  • The Mystery of Providence (1678)
  • A Saint Indeed - accessed 17 April 2011
  • The Seaman's Companion (1676)

External links